Sydney’s premiership winning trainer Chris Waller is pinning his hopes on Preferment and Sacred Master to claim his first win in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Waller has been the leading Australian Group 1 winning trainer for the past four seasons but is yet to collect a Caulfield Cup trophy and saddled up three runners last year for a seventh with Who Shot Thebarman, an eleventh with Grand Marshal and a last placing with Royal Descent.
Waller announced today that Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal would miss this year’s Caulfield Cup and head to either the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 19 or the Group 2 $250,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Promising stayer Antonio Giuseppe has been sent to the paddock leaving Waller with four time Group 1 winner Preferment and Newcastle Cup winner Sacred Master to fly the stable flag.
“A decision has been made to spell Antonio Guiseppe and he will take no further part in the Spring Carnival,” Waller tweeted.
“I had not been completely satisfied with his action since the McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan on October 1 and our vet has diagnosed some muscle damage.”
“For this reason, he will be spelled immediately and be prepared for an Autumn 2017 campaign. He made excellent progression this preparation and I eagerly await his return next year.
“At this stage we will have two runners in the Caulfield Cup, Preferment (Hugh Bowman) and Sacred Master (Tommy Berry).
“Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman will both head towards either the Moonee Valley Cup or the Geelong Cup.”
Hugh Bowman will continue his association with Preferment after having ridden the Zabeel five year old in three of his four Group 1 wins with their latest effort being a last start fourth to Hartnell in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
While Tommy Berry will stick with Sacred Master after partnering the former Kiwi trained gelding when fourth in the Group 1 $750,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 1.
Both the Waller trained horses are at healthy double figure odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Caulfield Cup with Preferment marked at $21 and Sacred Master at $31.
The Ciaron Maher trained in-form mare Jameka is a pronounced favourite at $3.20 ahead of the English stayer Scottish at $7.50 and the Darren Weir trained Real Love at $9.
Early market order for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Jameka, $7.50 Scottish, $9 Real Love, $10 Exospheric, $11 Tally, Articus, Sir Isaac Newton, $19 Sir John Hawkwood, $21 Preferment, $26 Gallante, Set Square, Tarzino, $31 Our Ivanhowe, Howard Be Thy Name, Sacred Master, $41 Fanatic, $51 Almoonqith, Pemberley, $81 Big Money, De Little Engine, $201 Go Dreaming, Miss Rose De Lago, $301 Master Zephyr, Vengeur Masque.