Waller Eyes Doomben Cup Upset

Chris Waller is hoping to upset the apple cart in the Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2000m).

The leading Sydney trainer will line-up a quartet of runners, including three New Zealand-breds, against short-priced favourite Zaaki.

Polly Grey and Kukeracha finished second and third respectively behind Zaaki in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) last start, while fellow Kiwi-bred Kolding will be looking to recapture form on Saturday, but Waller said he will only start if the track improves from its heavy rating.

“It’s going to be a tough race,” Waller said.

“I’m not expecting to beat Zaaki, but Polly Grey is racing well, she showed that last start and she is probably in the best form of her career.

“(But) I think he had a bit in reserve last start, he will probably improve with the run and we saw how dominant he was in the race last year.”

Polly Grey is an $8 chance and the only one of Zaaki’s nine rivals rated at single-figure odds.

She is sure to relish the wet conditions with all 11 of her career wins coming on rain-affected tracks.

Polly Grey was initially trained in New Zealand by Kylie Fawcett, who remains in the ownership, and won six of her 17 starts in her homeland, including the Listed Matamata Cup (1600m).

Waller said stablemate Kukeracha has continued to thrive in Brisbane, but like Polly Grey, is probably racing for the minor spoils.

“Kukeracha seems to love Queensland,” Waller said.

“He won the Queensland Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) last winter, his two runs up there this autumn have been really good and 2000m should be no problem.”

Kukeracha was bred by former Waikato Stud vet Dr Chris Phillips and purchased out of the Matamata nursery’s 2019 draft at Karaka on Morgan’s behalf for $130,000 by bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster.

– racing.com

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