The team of Chris Waller and Jim Cassidy have secured a race double early on George Main Stakes Day at Randwick this afternoon after Sadler’s Lake charged home to win the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
Sadler’s Lake was offered a great opportunity to find ideal early running position in the Bill Ritchie Handicap after being allocated the rails draw, and the gelding made the most of the barrier when jumping well and settling in prime position on the heels of early leaders Heart Testa and Never Back Down.
Receiving an ideal run in transit hugging the rails, the High Chaparral gelding immediately joined Heart Testa at the fore of the field rounding onto the final straight; jogging clear in the final 200m to post a second-consecutive win ahead of a fast-finishing Rudy.
Cassidy was understandably thrilled to partner another of Waller’s horses to success in the 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap and was quick to lay all the praise on the Rosehill trainer after the race.
“He’s a lovely horse, another of Chris’ that went to Brisbane and has come back nicely,” Cassidy said.
“He won first-up and it was a soft win again today so it’s all upside.
“He paraded really well, didn’t sweat up.
“If anyone will get him to a Group 1 it will be Chris. He was very competitive in Brisbane, he’s a lot stronger now and he’s a horse going places for sure.”
Sadler’s Lake is yet to taste anything but success through his two starts since returning this time, and Waller is confident today’s win underlines Sadler’s Lake’s legitimacy as a 2015 Epsom Handicap (1600m) contestant in a fortnight.
“I think a mile and 2000m will really suit the horse to come to his best form,” Waller said.
“Stepping up to an Epsom in two weeks’ time will be ideal I think, a tough mile.
“The distance will certainly be no problem because he’s been there before so I think it’s perfect timing.
“It’s a big step but perfect timing. I don’t think he’s quite as effective on a wet track so I’m looking forward to two weeks’ time.”
A talented and capacity field is expected to contest the 2015 Epsom Handicap in a fortnight, and Waller appears likely to launch a talented, multi-pronged attack on the feature race.