The Chris Waller trained Night’s Watch is still at long odds for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes even after winning the Group 3 $160,000 Iron Jack Neville Sellwood (2000m) at Rosehill today.
Today’s win was Night’s Watch’s first win since September 2018 and he is still one of the outsiders at $81 for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships on April 11.
Night’s Watch’s win in the Neville Sellwood Stakes gave in-form jockey James McDonald an early winning double after he saluted in the previous race with Quick Thinker winning the Group 2 $200,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
McDonald summed up the wet track conditions well and after Night’s Watch ($8.50) settled near the tail of the field in the early stages, he was able to stick to the inside in the straight before fighting out a tight three way finish.
Runner up Aliferous ($6.50) ran home down the middle of the track to finish ahead away from the winner while Shadow Flight ($16) was a nose behind in third spot.
Even though Night’s Watch had been out of the winner’s stall for a very long time, the top trained never lost faith with the backmarker.
“It was very good. It was a very smart ride from James (McDonald), saving some ground,” Waller said.
“Even though he was back last, he spent nothing really and it was good to see him in winning form.”
“He’s been going well enough. Things have just been going against him. Obviously he is not the best of beginners so when he gets back in fields it makes it very hard.”
“If you keep them interested and keep them happy, they’ll put their heads in front occasionally.”