Stayer The Lord Mayor has not reached the heights to have a feature race commissioned in his honour, but he will be the omen bet in a race that shares his name.
The Lord Mayor is a confirmed starter in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday after trainer Chris Waller decided against a trip to Brisbane where he was also entered.
He will be one of five runners for the premier trainer along with Yulong Prince, Wu Gok, Kaonic and Gayatri.
Waller has scratched stablemates Shraooh and Savacool, who will run in Brisbane, while Carzoff will line up in Melbourne.
A Flemington winner over the distance in January, The Lord Mayor is expected to be nearing his top after two runs from a spell.
“He is obviously drawn wide but on a heavy track, I’m hoping it’s not too much of a disadvantage,” Waller said.
“He’s got a good rider aboard in Tommy Berry, who will be looking to get him some cover and give him a chance to finish off strongly and third up from a spell we expect him to improve.”
While The Lord Mayor will attract sentimental punters, Yulong Prince is regarded as Waller’s top seed.
Group Two-placed on a heavy track in March, he finished midfield in the Doncaster Mile and was a sound last-start fifth to stablemate Another Dollar in the Gosford Cup.
But ever looking for a winning edge, Waller has turned to equestrian rider Tim Boland to reignite Yulong Prince’s mojo.
“He’s done a bit of jumping since his last race up at Limitless Lodge with Tim Boland,” Waller said.
“He’s been back with us for the last 10 days and seems to have brightened up really well.”
If there is a surprise packet among Waller’s quintet it could be Kaonic.
The five-year-old showed promise early in his career but has not managed a top-three finish since taking out a Listed race in Melbourne during the spring of 2018.
He was an eye-catching fourth to Rock in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle and Waller said little had gone Kaonic’s way in three recent appearances.
“His last two runs in Melbourne have been without any luck so from a better draw hopefully he can settle closer and get himself back into a bit of form,” Waller said.
The scratching of Waller’s trio from the Lord Mayors Cup has opened the door for second emergency and race favourite Bottega to secure a start.