In one of the more extraordinary interviews to be conducted in recent memory Chris Waller has effectively shelved his hopes of a win for The Verminator in today’s Newcastle Cup.
Talking earlier this morning Waller conceded that if he could have his way he’d probably scratch the horse rather than run on the Good 3 rated surface.
He said there were a couple of reasons for not withdrawing at such a late stage, the main one being the fact stewards would likely penalise him should he try to run The Verminator on a similar surface in the future.
This will have a big impact on the race given The Verminator was a favourite with punters and still remains the top pick in the market.
It’s an interesting call by Waller given the horse has recorded three of his five wins on tracks rated in the Good ranges.
That being said he maintains the conditions at Newcastle today are not the same as those he’s adapted to previously pointing to a fourth place finish at Grafton four starts back.
“It jars him up, as it did in Grafton he just couldn’t stretch out at all,” Waller said.
“I think there’s all different types of good’s threes, Sydney tracks you get away with it, you’ve got a lot more forgiving surface.
“There’s certainly nothing wrong with the way they’ve prepared the track, it’s just the soil type and the way they’ve put it together.”
He says he doesn’t really have any other option than to run the horse given it’s the morning of the race but with the sun baking down on Newcastle as we speak it’s only likely to get firmer.
“We’ve got to take a chance and we realise it’s a risk, I just hope for the punters sake it’s not too firm,” he said.
“He’s just such a consistent horse, we haven’t had to do a lot with him since Wyong.”