Wu leads procession
HALL of Fame trainer Chris Waller prepared the first five placegetters as mudlark Wu Gok led home the stable procession in the Group 3 $160,000 race over 1900m at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
Waller’s domination wasn’t surprising as had seven of the 10 starters, including favourite Come Play With Me, but very few horses handle a heavy track as well as Wu Gok.
Jockey Tommy Berry, who won the San Domenico Stakes on Exceedance, completed a Group 3 double in successive races as Wu Gok ($6.50) drove through near the inside to win by a length from Come Play With Me ($3.20) with Carzoff ($13). “I rode him last start and I said to Chris ‘we just need a track with a bit of sting out of it again’ and he would run well,’’ Berry said.
“He was very well placed, he was down in the weights.
“I’ve been making an effort in the last few weeks to ride at 53kg on a Saturday so I could get some decent rides and I was lucky enough to get this bloke.’’
Berry banked on Wu Gok’s wet-track ability when he took an inside run on the home turn.
“I always knew they’d probably come off the rail a bit and, although it’s getting a bit chewed up this part of the day, he lapped it up,’’ Berry said.
“He travelled so sweetly in the run, he was so happy.
“He found about a length at the top of the straight and held it the whole way to the post.
“He’s a horse in form at the moment.”
Waller said, provided Wu Gok pulled up well, there was every chance the stayer would back up in the Wyong Gold Cup on Friday.
“It was a good win, a welldeserved win for him and he might head to Wyong on Friday as well to have another race before he goes out for a well-earned break,’’ Waller said.
Waller made particular mention of new stable recruit, former Perth stayer Come Play With Me who ran very competitively at his Sydney debut.
“I thought Come Play With Me was excellent,’’ the trainer said.
“I spoke to (former trainer) Adam Durrant this morning and he thought he would improve with the run and I think he is right.
“I don’t think a win is far away for him and he was beaten today by an out-andout wet-tracker.”
Tommy T B Berry returns t rns to scale on Wu Gok.