Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller has secured the services of champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte for his top fancy Junoob in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday week.
Junoob became a live chance for the Caulfield Cup after a convincing staying display in winning the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 4, beating stalemate Opinion.
The English import is currently a $15 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Caulfield Cup but his odds are certain to shorten with the booking of the thirteen time Hong Kong jockey premiership winner.
Born in Durban in South Africa, Whyte had ruled the racing scene in Hong Kong before Australia jockey Zac Purton ends his thirteen year reign with his first Hong Kong jockey’s premiership last season.
Whyte has ridden nine Hong Kong winners this season and is currently running second to the tearaway leader, the new boy on the block, Joao Moreira, who has cleared away with fifteen wins in the early part of the new season while Purton is staying in touch with eight wins.
Purton has made regular trips back to Australia during the Carnivals and has had major success with wins for Waller on Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick three weeks ago.
Moreira had also made flying trips to Sydney and was rewarded with a winning treble at Randwick last Saturday, including a winning double for Waller.
Moreira took out the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) on He’s Your Man and the Group 2 $175,000 Sydney City Toyota Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) on Brazen Beau for Waller and also scored a win for Gai Waterhouse on Hampton Court in the Listed $100,000 TAB Betting Season Dulcify Quality (1600m).
Waller is starting to finalise his Caulfield Cup jockeys with Michael Rodd booked to ride last Saturday’s Group 3 Craven Plate winner Moriarty and Damien Oliver is to ride Hawkspur.
Purton and Moreira also have been booked for Caulfield Cup rides with Purton to ride the top Japanese stayer Admire Rakti and Moreira to partner Naturalism Stakes winner Gris Caro.
Lucia Valentina secured the top spot in the Caulfield Cup market order after winning last weekend’s Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and is the $6 favourite ahead of Japanese stayer Bande at $8 and Dear Demi and My Ambivalent both at $11.
Admire Rakti is marked at $15 alongside of Junoob with Hawkspur at $17 and Moriarty at $26 while Gris Caro is marked as a $34 chance.