Superstar Sydney horseman Chris Waller will chase Group 1 success in the west with his always-honest galloper Amovatio who heads to Perth for the summer carnival on the back of a Weekend Hussler Stakes win on Caulfield Guineas Day.
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival Waller and his crew took over Moriarty, who earlier won the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick, and there the import enjoyed an elite level victory over local champion Disposition in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Both December’s Kingston Town Classic as well as the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) over the mile at Ascot Racecourse in late November are now on the agenda for another Waller-trained gelding Amovatio.
Racing for the first time since a narrow victory over Mr Utopia in the Listed Winter Championship (1600m) over the Flemington mile on July 11, this weekend at Caulfield Racecourse Amovatio returned to racing in the $120,000 Listed Perri Cutten Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m).
One of only nine in the handicap clash, Amovatio had world class hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle whose patient and calm-under-pressure ride helped hand connections the black-type win.
It was the Team Hawkes-trained Lonhro seven-year-old Mecir leading around the Weekend Hussler field at only a moderate tempo this spring, Pago Rock setting into second ahead of the Robbie Laing-trained Tristram’s Sun with the Mick Price-trained Eximus running fourth on the rails after jumping from the inside alley.
Carting the hefty 60kg top weight, the same weight he carried to victory in the Winter Championship, Amovatio was back second last on the inside with Bowman taking his time as instructed by the horse’s Winter Championship winning rider Damien Oliver.
“I gave him a call this morning,” Bowman said post-win speaking of his conversation with Oliver.
“I was a bit worried about there being no pace on paper, but from the wide draw he (Oliver) gave me confidence to ride the horse with confidence and the horse didn’t let anyone down.”
Heading round the bend, Tristram’s Sun moved into third while Richie’s Vibe had no luck in the run getting held up.
Amovatio also got held up in traffic behind a wall of horses, but Bowman remained cool and waited for the gap to open up.
Once the break was there, Amovatio charged to victory in a huge performance doing a great job to accelerate with weight, picking up and quickening to run them down.
On the line he was too good and won by a short-neck over the Robert Smerdon-trained race favourite The Bowler who came with a swooping run down the outside to cross a nose ahead of third-placed Tristram’s Sun.
“He would have been something beaten,” Bowman said.
“I had to wait to get into the turn for a bit of room.
“He had a nice little sprint there and the horse delivered with flying colours.”
Waller was full of praise for Bowman’s ride as well as the horse’s run with the weight.
“It was a good, patient ride,” he said.
“He conserved energy and needed a good gap to come in the last 100 metres, and it did and he charged through.”
Waller also confirmed plans to target the Railway Stakes – Kingston Town Classic double with the Weekend Hussler winner.
“We took a horse there last year, Moriarty, and he ended up winning a Group 1,” Waller said.
“Once you’ve had a taste of Western Australian success you try to find one who can do it again this year.
“With that in mind, the mile Railway Stakes and then the 1800m Group 1 two weeks after both look nice races.”