Trainer Chris Waller is left with two runners in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben today after Counterattack was scratched this morning, leaving thirteen sprinters to contest the first Group 1 of the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Counterattack was well in the betting at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au when he was pulled out which forced stablemate Japonisme to shorten up slightly at the top of the market order to be the $3.40 favourite.
On the second line of betting at $4.60 is the Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop ahead of Malaguerra at $6.50, Artlee at $8.50 and the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Dotharaki at $9.50 while Waller’s second runner Delectation is marked as a $14 chance.
Three year old Japonisme is taking on the older horses again in the weight for age BTC Cup after performing creditably in this company two starts back when third to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.
Japonisme then took that good form to Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ when he beat Counterattack by a nose in the Group 2 $500,000 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint (1200m).
Waller is giving the Choisir gelding a great chance again and said that he would be hard to beat back in weight for age company.
“He is going to be very hard to beat. He just does everything right,” Waller said.
“He is the utmost professional this horse and he is one of the better sprinters in the country.”
But Waller is not ruling out an upset by Delectation but does admit that the wide barrier is against his chances and is looking forward to running him in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben in a fortnight.
“Awkward barrier to overcome, so he needs a little bit of luck from a wide gate,” Waller said.
“Realistically I think the Doomben 100000 is his race in two weeks time. This race will just take the edge off of him so that he runs well in that race.”
“But he has beaten Chautauqua at this distance at weight for age level so if he brought that form to the BTC Cup on Saturday it would be good enough to win it.”
BTC Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Japonisme, $4.60 Fell Swoop, $6 Malaguerra, $8.50 Artlee, $9.50 Dothraki, $14 Delectation, Charlie Boy, $17 Target In Sight, $26 Scared Star, Two Blue, $31 Stratum Star, $41 Echo Gal, $126 Liberation.