Chris Waller is happy with Delectation heading into the 2015 Ascot Handicap, but the leading Sydney trainer admits that the talented three-year-old will need plenty of luck to win the Listed event at Doomben on Saturday.
Delectation failed to fire in both the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14, but he earnt himself a trip to Queensland for the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival when he took out the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
The Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) is the major winter target for Delectation and Waller does not want to give the three-year-old too a tough task in the Ascot Handicap, but he still believes the gelding is good enough to win the $100,000 event.
“Barrier 11 of 13 is going to make it hard and obviously it is all about two weeks’ time in the Stradbroke because I think he is a great chance in that race,” Waller said.
“I want to get him to switch off and settle, but still give him every chance to win.
“He is a three-year-old taking on the older horses and it won’t be easy, but Hugh knows him well.”
Delectation made his racing debut with a second place finish behind Unencumbered in the Ascend Sale Trophies Plate (1000m) in December of 2013 and he was second again in the ATC Membership On Sale Now Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on February 1 before he scored his maiden race win at Warwick Farm on June 4 and he went on to score two more wins at Randwick and Rosehill Gardens at the end of his winter campaign.
The Shamardal gelding started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fourth place finish in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and he produced strong efforts in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) before he produced the best performance of his career to finish second behind stablemate Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Delectation is currently available at 2015 Ascot Handicap odds of $2.60 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Nite Rocker ($3.60), Whiskey Allround ($8), Cape Kidnappers ($9) and Rocket To Glory ($11).