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Quick Back-Up No Concern For Saigon Tea In Christmas Cup

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Saigon Tea will be having her second race start in the space of a week when she contests the 2014 Christmas Cup at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, but trainer Chris Waller is happy to give her an opportunity in the Listed event.

Saigon Tea has the chance to record a maiden black type win in the 2014 Christmas Cup at Royal Randwick this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

Saigon Tea has the chance to record a maiden black type win in the 2014 Christmas Cup at Royal Randwick this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

Saigon Tea started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a flat performance in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 and strung together a number of unlucky minor placings in the Alpha Flight Services Handicap (2000m), Swisse Wellness Trophy (1800m) and So You Think Yearlings Plate (2000m) before she returned to winning form in the Horsepower Feeds Handicap (1800m) last Saturday.

Waller said that the original plan was to send Saigon Tea to the spelling paddock after her win at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, but he said he is happy to give the Thorn Park mare one more race start in the Christmas Cup this preparation, despite the fact she does not look like she is carrying a great deal of conditioning.

“She won’t mind the soft five,” Waller said.

“She looks fair and she is light, but she is winning like that.

“Most of the Ethiopian athletes that win the marathons are pretty light too and they are just natural athletes and that is what this horse is.

“She was going to head to the paddock, but how can you turn-up the opportunity to run for black type for a mare.”

Saigon Tea will be joined in the 2014 Christmas Cup field by stablemate Permit, who will be defending his title in the Christmas Cup after he defeated Martinvast and Hoylonny in the 2013 edition of the race.

Permit started his summer campaign with a close third behind Malice and Midsummer Sun in the Cellarbrations At Valentine Handicap (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 15, but weakened late when fifth in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 29.

The 2014 Christmas Cup field is rounded out by ATC Cup runner-up Metaphorical, Bede Murray-trained World Wide, veteran stayer Planet Purple, Gerry Harvey-owned Lucky Lucky Lucky and Godolphin mare Terai.

Saigon Tea is available at 2014 Christmas Cup odds of $2.35 and is a clear favourite at Ladbrokes, while Permit is priced at a quote of $11 to return to winning form in the Listed event this weekend.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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