By Ray Hickson
Jockey Mathew Cahill has placed the onus on himself to get it right under tricky circumstances on in-form gelding Bulala in Sunday’s $150,000 SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Wagga.
The five-year-old has had the advantage of barrier one at his last two starts for wins at Albury and Wagga but Cahill is concerned a wide alley on Sunday could leave him exposed.
“He’s never won over the 1400m, that’s always a slight query when they haven’t been there and done it,’’ Cahill said.
“Ideally you’d love to be in (gate) four or five. He’s slightly suspect at the distance so you don’t want to be sitting three or four wide covering ground, he will need a nice run to have a chance to run the trip.’’
Bulala, locally trained by Peter Morgan, is second favourite at $4.60 with TAB.
Cahill said he’s been able to give Bulala perfect runs in his last couple of wins but this time around he says he’s relying on luck.
On the positive side, though, Cahill said both the gelding’s recent wins have come off breaks of six weeks or more.
“Both starts he’s had enough on the line but both times he’s gone into them fresh. He will be fitter come Sunday,’’ Cahill said.
“I think there’s a bit of speed in the race so if there is a genuine tempo that will help so hopefully the field splits up and he can get across.
“I’ve had him a bit close because he’d drawn so well, he’s drawn in the car park so I can see him being back or around midfield depending on the tempo.
“He’s only lightly raced but he’s a nice little horse with a pretty good record and has a nice turn of foot when he hits firm ground.’’
When asked which was the horse he has to beat in Sunday’s Qualifier, Cahill said he couldn’t pinpoint just one but has a healthy respect for the Scott Spackman-trained Chastity Strikes and O’ So Hazy.
“I reckon any one of eight or nine could win the race. Whatever gets the best run in the race will probably win,’’ he said.
Cahill has a strong book of rides at Wagga on Sunday including Sei Stella ($2, race 1), Waiting For A Mate ($5.50, race 3) and Stone Cold ($10, race 8).