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Irish import Mister Sea Wolf has been well support in the betting to win his Australian debut when he lines up in the Group 3 $150,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Cabeza de Vaca, above, is the early favourite for the Festival Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

Cabeza de Vaca, above, is the early favourite for the Festival Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

Mister Sea Wolf has firmed from $8 to $5 on Thursday morning for the Festival Stakes but trainer Chris Waller said that the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 16 was the imports main Summer mission.

“Normally they take a run or two, often into a second preparation. But he has trialled well and settled in well, I’d like to get him through to a Villiers second-up and I’d be a little more confident going into that than I am about Saturday,’’ Waller told Racing New South Wales News.

Waller is hoping that Mister Sea Wolf’s English and Irish form stands up over the Summer Carnival and is looking to set the six year old for the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

“He’s a nice middle distance horse that has pretty good form around the mile,’’ Waller said.

“I respect that form in England and Ireland as much as I do with staying races.

“It’s good to give them a couple of starts before you get them ready for the late autumn/winter.

“I see him as that Ajax/Doncaster Prelude type of horse to get the confidence to get him to the Doncaster or a Doomben Cup.’’

Mister Sea Wolf is the winner of six of his twenty-three race starts in England and Ireland and will be having his first run since finishing eighth in the Group 3 €63,000 Desmond Stakes (1609m) at Leopardstown in Ireland on August 17.

Waller has given Mister Sea Wolf one barrier trial for a third over 1030m at Rosehill on November 24 and the import will be ridden by Tim Clark and jump from gate four in the Festival Stakes field that has been reduced to ten runners following the early scratching of Chalk.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Cabeza de Vaca sits at the top of the Festival Stakes market order at $2.70 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Mister Sea Wolf and the James Cummings trained Federal both at $5.

Cabeza de Vaca has drawn barrier seven with apprentice Rachel King taking the ride again after steering the six year old to victory at his last two starts in the $100,000 Filante Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on October 28 and in the $100,000 November Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on November 18.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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