Wu Gok revels in testing conditions and will get a track to suit in the Winter Cup at Rosehill on Saturday.

‘Second best wet tracker I have had behind Winx’: Winter Cup suits Waller’s Wu Gok

June 12th 2020

If there is any horse in the Chris Waller stables that would be enjoying the wet, wintry conditions of the past week it would be Wu Gok.

The stayer has a liking for heavy ground, with seven of his 10 victories when tracks have been at their wettest including the Lord Mayors Cup at his last start, and is favoured to win again in the Winter Cup at Rosehill on Saturday.

“He is the second best wet tracker I have had behind Winx,” Waller said. “He just loves it and we saw that in the Lord Mayors Cup but he goes up three kilos in weight for that win.

“He has to go an extra 400 metres but he gets the conditions he likes, which is important.”

Overall the six-year-old has had 12 starts on heavy tracks with his four unplaced defeats coming at 1600m and under, suggesting a slog on testing ground will be his domain in the Winter Cup.

Wu Gok was sent off at a $20 outsider in the Lord Mayors Cup last start, only to win like a favourite, a position he holds at $2.70 as he steps out to 2400m this week.

He led home a Waller trifecta last time from Yulong Prince and The Lord Mayor, which were left 3-¾ lengths in his wake fighting out the minor end of the prizemoney a fortnight ago, but they will get their chance to turn the tables with significant weight advantage.

“Wu Gok is probably at his limit at 2400m and the riders have been telling us that Yulong Prince will like this trip and he handles the wet ground,” Waller said. “The Lord Mayor is getting to his peak fitness fourth-up and has been running some good races, and the 2400m might suit him.

“We have got Carzoff back from Melbourne for this race. He went over a couple of hurdles to sharpen him up before he left there and he has arrived very well.”

Waller has more than 30 runners around the country on Saturday, including at Moonee Valley and in the final feature meeting of the Brisbane carnival at Eagle Farm.

But he will be at Rosehill, where he has been for the past couple of months during the COVID-19 pandemic, marshalling his massive operation. He is looking forward to seeing True Detective there again, which has raced through the autumn carnival and finally broke through last start.

“He is a horse that punters would probably not call a good horse, but as a trainer he is what I call a good horse,” Waller said. “He goes out and earns good prizemoney every start and it was great to see him win last start.

“He will run a good race again.”

Waller has a major hand in Brisbane with a half-dozen runners in the Tattersall’s Cup and Romani Girl and Fiesta in the Dane Ripper Stakes.

“We had the first six home in a race there a couple of weeks ago but I think the horse that missed out that day, Brimham Rocks, is our best chance,” Waller said. “He looks like getting a better run this time from the good gate.

“I think Romani Girl will be better suited at Eagle Farm and her and Fiesta didn’t have a lot of luck last time, they are capable of running big races.”

-Chris Roots, The Sydney Morning Herald