The winning combination of jockey James Winks and Our Voodoo Prince is back together in the $90,000 Jockey Celebration Day Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Winks is the last jockey to win on the Chris Waller trained Our Voodoo Prince back in April 2014 and is also the only jockey to have won on the European import since he arrived in Australia midway through the 2013 – 2014 racing season.
Our Voodoo Prince won his first three races on Australian soil with Winks in the saddle but has failed to find the winner’s stall from fourteen starts since.
The well-bred English stayer has had a host of riders on board including Damien Oliver who got close but not close enough when second to subsequent Group 1 Doomben Cup winner Pornichet in the Group 3 $150,000 The Sunday Telegraph Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 this year.
Our Voodoo Prince’s recent Sydney form has been fair with two placings at Randwick with a third to Sense Of Occasion in the Listed $100,000 Sydney Markets Ltd McKell Cup (2400m) on May 23 followed by a second, beaten five lengths, to Lovethebeaches in the $100,000 Sydney Airport Stayers Cup (3200m) on June 6.
Waller then dropped the eight year old back in distance on an unsuitable heavy track and he was well beaten when fifth of seven in the Listed $100,000 Ronald McDonald House Westmead Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on June 27.
But Winks is expecting a better showing on Saturday after Waller has varied his work load since shifting him back to his Melbourne base.
“He just seemed to me like he was just going through the motions last time in,” Winks told Racenet.
“Chris has been jumping him and mixing up his work and it’s really given him a new lease of life. I trialled him the other day and he’s going better than he has for a long, long time.”
“If he brought his best form on Saturday, he’d be up to beating those horses.”
Our Voodoo Prince has been listed as an $11 chance in the Jockey Celebration Day Handicap with Waller’s other two runners, Bagman and Diametric, heading the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Top weight Bagman is the $3.40 favourite ahead of Diametric at $5 while Lord Durante and Honourable Aussie share the next line of betting at $8.50.