Wu Gok takes the feature Lord Mayors Cup at juicy odds for Chris Waller at Rosehill on Saturday

Wu’s the man: Waller wants to stay dominant after two-state double

May 30th 2020

There is an artform in running a huge operation like Chris Waller’s, but even by his high standards the effort with a hardened bunch of stayers was amazing on Saturday.

He took the staying features in Sydney and Brisbane with mudder Wu Gok winning the Lord Mayors Cup at Rosehill after Le Juge ($8) took the Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben.

But it was the Waller team lined up behind them that showed the strength and depth he has beyond 2000m. He prepared the first six home in the Doomben staying contest, and the Lord Mayors Cup trifecta.

“We are a bit top heavy with these horses, Waller said. “But I’m reluctant to move them on when they are winning races and earning good prizemoney for their owners.

“A few put their hands up today and said they want to be here a bit longer.”

Waller had to work out how to split a team of a dozen stayers and all look likely to remain money-spinners as the days get shorter and colder.

There are staying features on both sides of the border for Waller to target every week for the next couple of months and he is the master of giving every horse its chance to win the right race.

Waller’s challenge will be picking those that will get out to 2400m and beyond and others that will be effective at 2000m.

Wu Gok once again showed he is perhaps the best wet-tracker in Sydney as he won by 3-3/4 lengths from Yulong Prince and The Lord Mayor. It was a team effort to get Wu Gok to this target first-up.

“We sent him out to Hermitage and gave them instructions that we wanted him back ready for this race over 2000m. They did a super job,” Waller said.

“But I must admit I was doubting myself if he was ready and I even thought about waiting for a 1600m race next week.

“Then I looked at the forecast of good weather over the next days and decided to run him on the heavy track today, which he enjoys.

“It’s good for your confidence when you know you can step a horse straight out over 2000 metres, it was a good result.”

It meant the Hermitage silks also landed a cross-state double after two-year-old filly September Run won a listed race in Brisbane.

Waller had a double in Sydney as well when True Detective ($4.60) finally found the line under James McDonald, who had a winning treble and is rapidly closing on the century of wins for the season.

McDonald had started the day by winning on Anders ($2.90), who is unbeaten since the addition of the crossover noseband.

Meanwhile, Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm could face charges of lying to stewards after three used tubes of BCA paste – an amino acid and electrolyte substance – were found in his float at Rosehill on Saturday.

Lundholm, who had Kahlo, Sticks ‘n’ Stones and Joey’s Destiny running at the meeting, will be in more trouble for assuring stewards he hadn’t used the paste than actually using them on Friday.

Before the Highway Handicap, Lundholm was called to the stewards’ room and told stipes he hadn’t used the paste but later confessed to giving it to the horses at 3pm on Friday when they arrived in Sydney.

“If you told us that to start with this would have been over in a couple of minutes,” chief Marc Van Gestel told Lundholm.

“Now we will be looking at the fact you gave us false and misleading evidence as well. We will wait for the swabs from the horse and adjourn this matter.”

A contrite Lundholm apologised to stewards when he returned to the room after the Highway.

“I didn’t want to do the wrong thing but when I came in here I was just under pressure,” he said.

“I walked out and was kicking myself straight away.”

Lundholm could face a suspension or disqualification for lying to stewards.

-Chris Roots, The Sydney Morning Herald