Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller and jockey Glyn Schofield combined to win the $120,000 Listed Wyong Gold Cup for the second year in a row on Friday when The Verminator raced to a strong victory.
The Verminator ($4.40) was perfectly ridden by Schofield in the 2100m feature on the NSW central coast and went on to defeat the Gai Waterhouse-trained Essence Of Success ($4 fav) by 2-1/4 lengths.
Local galloper Gazza Guru ($17) made his run down the outside and looked a challenger in the straight before he peaked on his run to finish a neck away third.
Waller and Schofield combined to win the Wyong Cup last year with Hawk Island and Waller is now looking to target the Group One Metropolitan (2400m) with The Verminator next month.
“He has been a model of consistency without being a brilliant horse,” Waller said of The Verminator.
“We’ve just taken him quietly through the grades. He jarred up in the Grafton Cup (when fourth) and that’s probably the only blotch on his form really.
“We won this race last year with Hawk Island and he went on to bigger things so hopefully this bloke can do the same.”
Waller said the Group Three Newcastle Cup (2300m) on September 15 was an option for The Verminator on his way to The Metropolitan but warned he would be avoiding firm tracks with the gelding.
“Today was probably borderline for him but there are plenty of options for him,” Waller said.
Schofield made sure he positioned The Verminator in the right spot during the run and had the stayer better than midfield with cover before making his move approaching the home turn.
The five-year-old son of Melbourne Cup winner Jeune kicked clear early in the straight and powered to the post for his sixth win from 22 starts.
“It was a 10 out of 10 ride,” Waller said.
The Verminator’s win came just 40 minutes after the Waller-trained Red Tracer finished second as $1.60 favourite in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes won by Chris Munce on the Waterhouse-trained Sweetest Melody.
Munce rode Cup runner-up Essence Of Success who covered ground in the run before hitting the line late for second.
“I was three wide but had cover behind Corey Brown (on Status Quo),” Munce said.
“I couldn’t be disappointed with her run, I thought she ran very, very well.”
Wyong-based Stephen Farley was proud of Gazza Guru’s effort to be placed in his home town Cup but said missing a start in the Taree Cup last month might have cost him finishing closer.