Chris Waller’s recent stable acquisition Masthead could find himself lining up in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 if he performs well at Scone on Saturday.
Masthead has had one run for Waller since returning from Singapore where the five year old won three races from twenty-one starts and ran a creditable third in the $125,000 XXXX Gold Hawkesbury Rush (1100m) at Hawkesbury on May 3.
The five year old will be one of three runners Waller will saddle up in the Listed $140,000 Yarraman Park – Horsepower Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) and will join stablemates Velrosso and topweight Coup Ay Tee with Glyn Schfield to ride.
The leading Sydney trainer had also nominated Masthead for the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben but decided to chase the bigger prizemoney at Scone’s standalone meeting.
Waller said a trip to Brisbane for the Stradbroke Handicap will depend on the five year old’s performance in the Luskin Star Stakes and an impressive win would seal the deal.
“He’d have to win impressively on Saturday to go that far but he’s nominated,” Waller told AAP.
Waller is hoping that Masthead came find some of his early two year old form when trained by Lee Freedman which saw him run third in the 2011 Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and fourth in the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
“I think horses appreciate coming back to Australia after being in those Asian countries where it can be quite intense. They thrive,” Waller said.
Masthead is currently a $7.50 chance in the Luskin Star Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au while stablemates Velrosso ($5.50) and Coup De Tee ($10) are also well in the market.
Emblems, who is also entered for the BRC Sprint at Doomben, is the ruling favourite at $2.70 with his Darley stablemate Haussmann the second pick at $5.
In Stradbroke Handicap betting, Masthead is rated a $51 chance along with Emblems, with the Gary Portelli trained Rebel Dane heading the market order at $6 just ahead of Spirit Of Boom at $6.50 and Buffering at $7.