Restricted-class stayers will momentarily hold the spring spotlight for trainer Chris Waller later this week.
Fresh from a Group One quinella with The Verminator and Hawk Island in the Metropolitan, Waller will switch his focus to a NSW country Cup on Friday and a Rosehill Benchmark race 24 hours later.
Waller, a stand-out trainer in Sydney when it comes to distance horses, said he was likely to have just one Port Macquarie Cup (2000m) runner despite having three entries.
“It’s more than likely I’ll just run Done Nothin’ Wrong,” Waller said.
His decision to start the Canterbury night meeting winner at Port Macquarie would leave King Gladiator and Old Bill as his runners in a 1900m race at Rosehill.
Old Bill, along with stablemate Russian Jar, is also a Port Macquarie entry but their expected absence will ensure Done Nothin’ Wrong goes close to starting favourite in the $60,000 feature.
Out of both races, Waller is confident King Gladiator is the horse who can stake a legitimate claim for spring riches.
The four-year-old, a first-up Warwick Farm winner over 1600m, is among the 79 horses left in contention for the Melbourne Cup.
“He needs to keep winning to find about 30 ratings points to get into the right qualifying races but he’s going the right way,” Waller said.
Waller earmarked King Gladiator for a bright staying future when he ran the gelding in this year’s AJC Australian Derby.
King Gladiator came from 11th to finish fifth to Shamrocker at only his sixth career start.
Waller already has The Verminator heading to the Melbourne Cup and Hawk Island is expected to have his next run in the Caulfield Cup.
Meanwhile, a ban on children attending the Port Macquarie Cup meeting has been lifted.
The Port Macquarie Race Club had promoted the meeting as an event for 18-year-olds and over.
But Racing NSW intervened to have the conditions of entry overturned and a policy will be introduced to cover meetings throughout the state.
“Going to the races is part of the Australian way of life and this includes kids going to the local race meeting with their parents,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.