Chris Waller is confident the arduous task of backing-up for the third straight week won’t stop favourite Moriarty in Saturday’s Listed ATC Cup.
The imported stayer is a clear-cut favourite to return to the winner’s circle in the 2200m feature at Warwick Farm having found one better in his past two starts.
But with last week’s conqueror Cantonese not among the acceptances, and with Moriarty’s ability to cope well with racing, Waller is confident the ATC Cup can be the “icing on the cake” to the gelding’s campaign.
“He looks very well placed,” Waller said.
“He’s backing up three weeks in a row but he’s the type of horse to handle it. He’s in great shape and has come through last week’s run very well.”
After stringing three wins together to start this campaign, Moriarty then returned from a four-week freshen up when beaten 1-3/4 lengths by Levi’s Choice.
A week later it was the Bjorn Baker-trained Cantonese who lowered the colours of Moriarty by 1-1/4 lengths over 2000m.
But Waller took plenty of positives from the performance.
“It was a very good run last week. He was just beaten by an in-form horse and we had a big weight to carry,” Waller said.
“He’s had five runs this preparation for three wins and two good seconds. And Saturday would be the icing on the cake.”
The ATC Cup, registered as the Frank Underwood Cup, is the first of Sydney’s staying stakes races over the summer period.
It will be followed by the Listed Christmas Cup in two weeks and the Group Three Summer Cup on Boxing Day. Both races are over 2400m.
Waller says it hasn’t been a plan to target the Summer Cup but heading to that race remains a possibility.
“He’s backing-up three weeks in a row on Saturday so we would need to just back off him after this,” Waller said.
Veteran stayer Fiumicino holds the second line of betting for the ATC Cup ahead of Kiwi mare Fromelles who is expected to enjoy the step up in trip having finishing third over 1900m behind Levi’s Choice and Moriarty two weeks ago.