Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will have four runners in the 2014 Winter Cup; with Permit, Secessio, Hoylonny and Mulaqenset to contest the Listed event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Permit was included in the acceptances for the Banjo Paterson Series Heat 5 at Flemington after finishing fifth in the same series at Flemington a fortnight ago, but will return to Sydney for the Winter Cup to avoid running on the wet Flemington track.
Liam Prior, the racing manager for the Waller stable, is confident that Permit will produce an improved performance on a dry track and believes that the Dansili gelding will benefit from a slight drop in weight.
“Permit will be very well suited by the dry surface and 2400 metres is his distance,” Prior said.
“He gets a slight bit of weight relief; he carried 60 last start in Melbourne and he has been forced to carry similar weights in Sydney prior to that.
“58 kilograms is certainly a big improvement on what he has been forced to carry.”
Hoylonny and Mulaqen will both be returning to the races for the first time since they both missed the placings in the Freshmark Handicap (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 14.
Hoylonny has failed to fire in his two starts since returning to the races, but Prior is hoping to see an improved performance in the Winter Cup, while he believes Mulaqen is a genuine winning chance in the $100,000 race.
“Hoylonny had no luck first-up and second-up he went ok,” Prior said.
“2400 metres is certainly a query for him, but a dry track on Saturday gives him some chance.
“Mulaqen is into the fourth run back from his prep and if he was to produce the form that he showed towards the end of his last preparation he would be pretty hard to beat.”
Rounding out the Waller team in the Winter Cup is Secessio, who was beaten by 14 lengths by Winter Cup favourite Destiny’s Kiss at his last start in the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on June 7.
Secessio is another gelding that Prior believes is a question mark over 2400 metres, but feels that the dry Rosehill Gardens track gives the son of Konigstiger the best chance to run out a strong mile and a half.
“Secessio is another horse that failed last start over two miles and he gets back to 2400 on a dry surface and that will suit him,” Waller said.
“Chris is of the mindset that he is probably not a genuine mile and a half horse and he is probably better suited over 2000 metres, but the dryer track makes it easier for those horses.”
Destiny’s Kiss ($2.80) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Winter Cup betting markets from Mulaqen ($4.60), Secessio ($5), Permit ($8.50) and Hoylonny ($14).