Trainer Chris Waller believes that imported stayer Opinion is a great chance of scoring his second straight victory when he contests the 2014 Randwick City Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Opinion failed to fire in his first two starts in Australia during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but stamped himself as a leading contender for the 2014 Sydney Cup with a most impressive win in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1.
Waller bravely tipped Opinion to punters before the running of the Parramatta Cup, at the juicy odds of $25, and is confident that the Oasis Dream gelding can score back-to-back wins for the first time in his racing career.
“He is pretty good at the weights really,” Waller said.
“He has come through that first Australian win well and it will be interesting to see him on a good track; I’m sure that he will be just as effective, but if we get a bit of rain than he will come into play big time.
“I think he is a great chance again, either way.”
As is the case in the majority of races in Sydney, Waller will have multiple runners in the Randwick City Stakes; with Bayrir and Junoob both set to contest the Listed event.
Bayrir competed at the highest level of racing in Europe and North America, but is still chasing his maiden win in Australia and has performed poorly in all three starts this preparation.
Waller is hoping that a return to good ground will help the Medicean entire, although he admits that the five-year-old is racing well short of his best form.
“He is just struggling to find his form and confidence,” Waller said.
“A dead track would be ideal for him and I think that it was a bit too wet for him last time.
“It wasn’t disappointing, but he is certainly capable of better.
“His work has been good and hopefully he can get the conditions to suit.”
Junoob finished third behind Opinion in the Parramatta Cup, disappointing punters who took the short odds on offer, and Waller blamed the wet track for the surprise defeat of the Haafhd gelding.
The leading Sydney trainer revealed that he is considering saving Junoob for the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens next weekend and said that he will scratch the six-year-old from the Randwick City Stakes, if the track is affected by rain.
“He has done very well,” Waller said.
“I am keen to wait until next week though and if we get a wet track on Saturday I will wait.
“He is going very well and he is holding his condition, which is a good sign at this end of the preparation.”
Opinion ($2.30) and Junoob ($2.40) are currently battling for favouritism in 2014 Randwick City Stakes betting, while Bayrir is one of the outsiders of the seven horse field at a quote of $15.