Chris Waller has both Permit and Beyond Thankful in the 2014 ATC Cup field, but the leading Sydney trainer believes that Godolphin galloper Malice could prove difficult to beat in the Listed event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Malice carried 54 kilograms when he defeated Permit and Beyond Thankful in the Cellarbrations At Valentina Handicap (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 15, but has been allocated 54 kilograms again by Racing New South Wales handicappers, while Permit will carry only 500 grams less and Beyond Thankful the exact same weight.
Waller and Racing Manager Liam Prior both questioned the logic behind Malice not receiving a penalty for his win and Waller indicated that he would like to think Beyond Thankful would also not receive a penalty if he takes out the ATC Cup this weekend.
“I thought that Malice gets into the race good, he beat us last start with 54 and he has 54 again,” Waller said.
“It would be nice to see him win the race and not get penalised like Malice.”
While Waller is not happy with the weight allocated to Malice for the ATC Cup, he is happy with the form of both Permit and Beyond Thankful in the $100,000 race.
Permit has not recorded a race win since he took out the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on New Year’s Day and was slightly disappointing during his winter campaign, but he returned to the races with an impressive effort in the Cellarbrations At Valentina Handicap.
“He is going good, but he has a big weight in 59,” Waller said.
Beyond Thankful made a slow start to his spring campaign before he produced arguably the best performance of his racing career to sate when he finished fourth behind Brambles, Big Memory and Signoff in the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) at Flemington on September 13.
The Whipper gelding was unable to replicate that effort in the Inglis Ready2Race Sale Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on September 28 or the Moet Moment Handicap (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11, but returned to his fest form with a solid fourth in the Alpha Flight Services Handicap (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on October 25 and the Cellarbrations At Valentina Handicap.
“Beyond Thankful is going terrific and racing out of his grade,” Waller said.
“Glyn Schofield rides and should suit the horse well.”
Malice is available at 2014 ATC Cup odds of $3.70 and is a narrow favourite from Beyond Thankful ($4.80), Midsummer Sun ($4.80), Metaphorical ($5.50), Gallatin ($8.50) and Permit ($9).