Damien Oliver has linked with Chris Waller for a midweek win at Sandown but the champion jockey hopes a bigger prize awaits the pair in Perth.
Oliver got the Waller-trained Encosta Line home in Wednesday’s Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1800m) and on Saturday will ride stablemate Mackintosh, the equal favourite in the $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
“It’s nice to get a winner for Chris. I haven’t been doing much riding for him lately so it’s good to get a winner for him leading into the big meeting in Perth,” Oliver said.
Mackintosh has a wide draw but Oliver, who is originally from Western Australia, is hoping to overcome that as he chases his first win in the Railway, one of Perth’s biggest races.
Oliver’s late brother Jason rode the winner of the Railway in 1990 on Medicine Kid.
“The barrier is a bit tricky but outside barriers haven’t got a bad record in that race, sometimes it can be a bit of a blessing,” Oliver said.
“You can miss some interference. The horse is in good form and I’m sure he’s going to run a great race.
“I haven’t won one. My brother won it, so it’s one he’s got over me. It’s one I’d like to win.”
Encosta Line ($3.60) was forced to chase Temps Voleur and Prima, who had a break entering the straight, before hitting the front inside the final 50m and he drew clear to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
“I had a close look at this bloke’s form and noticed he had only won two and had seven seconds, so I didn’t want to get there too soon on him,” Oliver said.
“It was good that I was able to arrive late on him.”