Melbourne Cup chance heads to Grafton
ROSEHILL-based trainer Chris Waller has confirmed quality stayer The Verminator will attempt to win the $160,000 Wkyes Tyrepower Grafton Cup (2300m) on July 14.
Waller has offered the ride to Sydney-based South African jockey Glynn Schofield.
Waller, who over the weekend became only the fifth trainer to prepare 100 winners in a Sydney racing season, said the Grafton Cup was an important part of a long-range plan to win this year's Melbourne Cup with the rising five-year-old.
The New Zealander joined Hall of Fame trainer Tommy Smith, his daughter Gai Waterhouse, John Hawkes and Brian Mayfield-Smith, in the exclusive Sydney ‘100 club'.
Kensei (1987), trained by Les Bridge and ridden by Larry Olsen, is the only horse to complete the Grafton-Melbourne cups double.
“He's definitely coming to Grafton,” Waller said of The Verminator. “The Grafton Cup looks a nice race for him.
“He'll be turned out after that and trained for the Melbourne Cup.”
The Verminator, by 1984 Melbourne Cup winner Jeune, is one of a large team of stayers in Waller's care who have blossomed under his astute training methods.
A winner of five races (between 1550m to 2400m) and six placing's from 18 starts, The Verminator is coming of an impressive last-start win over 2000m at Rosehill last Saturday when ridden by visiting Melbourne rider Damien Oliver. That made it back-to-back wins after he scored over the same trip at Randwick on May 28.
The Verminator is out of Fraar Side, by Fraar, winner of the 1993 Caulfield Cup, with stout staying lines on both sides of its pedigree.
“He's a young horse on the way up, developing,” Waller said. “I'm happy with where he's at.
“He's struck some good form again.”
In 2009, Waller brought Bellagio Wynn to Grafton for the Cup, the gelding finishing eighth to Castle Heights.
In just over a decade since crossing the Tasman with no horses, no owners, armed with ambition only, Waller has risen to the top echelon of Sydney trainers.