Melbourne based Kiwi jockey Michael Walker has given up several rides at Caulfield on Saturday for one ride at Randwick on Comin’ Through in the Group 3 $150,000 Australian Chinese Jockey Club Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m).
Walker partnered the Chris Waller trained three year old when he scored a come from behind win in the Group 3 $200,000 The Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of the four day 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The much travelled jockey is keen to keep his association with Comin’ Through who is a half brother to the multiple Group 1 winner Criterion who Walker combined with to win the Group 1 $400,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Walker and Criterion then went on to run second to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley followed by a third to Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Walker has made the trip twice to Sydney to ride Comin’ Through in two recent barrier trials for a fourth over 900m at Rosehill followed by a seventh over 1000m at Randwick and while he expects him to sprint well fresh, he knows that the colt will be better suited over longer distances later in the Autumn Carnival.
“From what he’s shown me so far I think he’s pretty smart and is a horse with a big motor,” Walker told Racing.com.
“With his temperament I feel as though the further this horse goes the better. You could train his brother Criterion to sprint and I think you could with this horse as well but I do think he’s more of a staying horse.
“His first trial this preparation was very sharp and then he didn’t feel as sharp in his second trial but in saying that he was against fast horses.
“I’d expect him to hit the line strongly on Saturday and he’s a horse whose late sectionals will be brilliant but it’s just a question of whether he has too much work to do to finish over the top of them at that distance.”
Comin’ Through has drifted in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au from $5.50 to $7.50 since the market for the Eskimo Prince Stakes opened on Wednesday when the final field was released.
Stablemate Omei Sword dominates the betting at $2.45 with her nearest rival being the John O’Shea trained Bezel at $5.50.
Omei Sword is the only filly going around in the Eskimo Prince and showed her class during the Spring with a win in the Group 2 $175,000 Alpha Flight Services Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick followed a second to Astern in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill.
Bezel had worked his way up through the classes during the 2016 Spring Carnival and showed he was competitive against the three year olds with a hard fought third to Comin’ Through in the Carbine Club Stakes.