Emerging stayer Aleas has delivered Chris Waller a fourth Wagga Gold Cup and Chad Schofield a first, prevailing narrowly in a thrilling three-way battle to the line.
As outsider Dream Runner cut the corner to join leader Five Kingdom in the straight, Chad Schofield aboard Aleas steered a wider course, bringing the gelding down the centre of the track and timing his run to perfection.
Aleas ($4.60 fav) knuckled down over the final stages to reel in Dream Runner ($61) and win the $200,000 feature by a half-neck with Five Kingdom ($10) fighting on bravely for third, another short head away.
Schofield said the import, who was having just his third start in Australia, travelled sweetly in the run and was a promising horse on the rise.
“It was a nice win,” Schofield said.
“He had a lovely run. We followed the right horse, they bowled along, he found a lovely rhythm.
“When I let him go with the 54 (kilos) he really picked up nicely.
“To the other horses’ credit, they really made me fight for it, but I was always confident I was going to get there and he toughed it out well.”
Waller captured his first Wagga Cup (2000m) with Trade Commissioner in 2014 and added two more in consecutive years with Life Less Ordinary (2018) and Abdon (2019).
Life Less Ordinary subsequently went to Queensland and contested the Doomben Cup and Bruno Briffa, representing the Waller stable, said Aleas could likewise head north.
“He only got here early this year so he’s going to improve a lot more,” Briffa said.
“He’s got the European summer coat on him where every other horse is getting their winter coat.
“He’s still got more improvement to come.
“He might even be up at the Gold Coast shortly.”
Apprentice Tyler Schiller aboard Dream Runner just missed landing the feature race double over the two-day carnival after winning Thursday’s Wagga Town Plate (1200m) on the Geoff Duryea-trained Front Page.
– RAS NewsWire