Chris Waller expects familiar surroundings and a favoured distance will enable Richard Of Yorke to atone for a disappointing trip to Scone when he spearheads a three-pronged assault on the Listed McKell Cup.
The former English stayer is one of three Waller-trained runners in Saturday’s 2400m-feature race at Randwick where he will be joined by Soviet Courage and beyond thankful.
Sydney’s premier trainer is confident Richard Of Yorke can get back on track for his major goal of this preparation, the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Randwick on June 10.
Richard Of Yorke only managed sixth behind Lautaro in a 2200m-benchmark 78 race at Scone on May 13 after leading at the 400m.
“He was a touch plain at Scone last start but he’s coming back to the course and distance that he won two starts ago,” Waller said.
An $11 chance with Luxbet, Richard Of Yorke has won twice over the distance at Randwick and Sandown.
Soviet Courage, who was also brought over from England in 2015, is another on the road to redemption after running 10th of 12 in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on May 6.
Waller was also upbeat about the Stayer’s Cup-bound six-year-old noting Soviet Courage ($26) had won three times over Saturday’s distance, most recently at Rosehill in November.
“He’s no stranger to winning at this distance in all conditions. He’s an ideal winter horse,” Waller said.
A veteran of 52 starts, Beyond Thankful ($17) was eighth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and Waller admitted the seven-year-old needed to improve..
“He’ll need to fire up the next couple of runs, no excuses,” he said.
On a positive note Waller was pleased the gelding was only given 54.5kg.
“He’s finally starting to come down in the ratings and he’s in with a really good weight,” Waller said.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Broadside, a last-start winner of the J B Cummings Hall Of Fame Handicap (2000m) on Saturday, led the TAB market on Thursday as a $2.80 chance.
Racing returns to the Randwick after a month-long break and the track was classified as a soft 6 on Thursday.
Track manager Nevesh Ramdhani said with fine weather forecast he expected the surface to improve.