Chris Waller has ignored the obvious flaws in Delectation to declare the three-year-old will never get a better chance to win the Stradbroke Handicap.
Few horses in Australia’s most dominant stable have caused their trainer as much frustration as Delectation yet Waller is willing to overlook the sprinter’s shortcomings as he tries to add to his tally of 13 Group One wins for the season.
“He’s a bit quirky. In his races he needs cover and he needs the pace on,” Waller said.
“When that happens he’s a very good horse. He’s run second to Brazen Beau (in the Coolmore Stud Stakes) and won well through the (Sydney) carnival.”
While stablemate Boban will have to overcome his 58kg topweight, Delectation gets into the $2 million race at Doomben on Saturday on 52kg with Glen Boss taking the lightweight ride.
For Waller, it’s all about the timing with Delectation.
“Straight after he won in the autumn the Stradbroke was a target race,” Waller said.
“His run last time was all geared towards second-up and having him ready to fire.
“He is in with the right weight because next year he will have a much higher rating.”
Delectation carried 59kg against older horses when placed in the Ascot Handicap and his run, which was impossible to miss, elevated him into Stradbroke reckoning as a $9 chance.
Waller is sure Boban hasn’t missed a beat since his first-up Doomben 10,000 win but the same can’t be said for jockey Glyn Schofield.
Schofield injured his ankle in a starting stalls mishap at Gosford on Thursday and stood down from his commitments at the provincial meeting to visit a physiotherapist.
Stewards said Schofield suffered a sprain but the jockey indicated he would be fit to continue an association with Boban that has delivered four wins at Group One level.
Waller rates Doomben 10,000 placegetters Charlie Boy and Generalife as two of the hardest horses to beat.
The first three in the 10,000 cleared away to fight out the finish, a point not lost on Waller.
“They had the rest of them pretty safely covered,” he said.
Victorian filly Lumosty kept her place at the top of Stradbroke betting on Thursday despite her borderline status as first emergency.
She is at $4.80 with Charlie Boy on the second line at $7.
Given the uncertainty over Lumosty getting into the field, there has been minimal action in what is traditionally one of the biggest betting races of the year.
There has been specking for Srikandi and Lord Of The Sky while Boban has firmed from $10 to $9 since the barrier draw.
Godolphin is relying on a swing in the weights against Boban out of the Doomben 10,000 to give Generalife and Knoydart their chance.
“It is a 3.5 to 4 kilo weight turnaround for our pair,” Godolphin’s Darren Beadman said.