By Ray Hickson
A bit of that Glen Boss Group 1 touch will be required to guide Seaway to victory in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill but the horse himself is ready to win.
That’s the vibe from Chris Waller’s assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth who says the four-year-old is in an ideal race and has improved since his luckless first-up fifth in the Civic Stakes two weeks ago.
In Seaway’s favour is a handy second-up record, similar opposition and the addition of a hungry Glen Boss, who is set to base himself in Sydney for the spring at least, but it’s a tricky alley that has the Waller yard concerned.
“Bossy needs no introduction, he knows how to ride winners,’’ Duckworth said.
“Seaway is a smart horse and he has a race like this well within his grasp, it’s just a case of getting a bit of luck and the rub of the green.
“The horse is in good form, it was a nice run last start and it probably cleaned him out a bit. A little extra ground won’t do him any harm and hopefully the track dries out that little bit more.’’
Seaway sat three wide on the speed in the Civic Stakes, covering an extra 9.4m (Punter’s Intelligence), to be beaten 1.8 lengths by Gaulois and is a $9 chance behind stablemate Eckstein ($6) in a wide Winter Stakes market.
Eckstein made her debut for the Waller stable in the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara where she was beaten less than two lengths into sixth place and she again has a wide alley to contend with.
Duckworth said having Blake Shinn in the saddle is a plus, as he’s ridden the mare before, and a bit like Seaway will need something to fall her way in the run.
“It’s an awkward draw but she is the class horse in the race, there’s no question about that,’’ he said.
“Based on her work on Tuesday our only concern is the barrier. She hasn’t had that many goes on real heavy tracks but we’re hopeful she gets through it.’’
Rounding out the Waller Winter Stakes trio is Sir Bacchus who Duckworth says is his own worst enemy due to his habit of drifting too far back.
An extra week’s worth of work could play into unbeaten two-year-old True Detective’s hands in the Everest Carnival Handicap (1100m).
The colt, who won on debut in late February, was due to resume at Randwick last week but the heavy conditions saw Waller err on the side of caution.
“If we can get back to a soft 7 then we’ve achieved something with the extra week but it has also allowed us to give him an extra gallop on Tuesday,’’ Duckworth said.
“He’s that little bit fitter, he’s a smart horse and while he handles the wet it was more a case of not wanting to give him a gut buster first-up.’’
Seaway runs fifth in the Civic Stakes at Rosehill on June 29
True Detective is $4.40 second favourite with TAB behind the well supported Spend ($2.80) while stablemate Lucicello, a last start heavy track winner on the Kensington track, is a $7.50 chance.
“She’s still a work in progress but she has improved her manners in her trackwork,’’ Duckworth said.
“That win came on a very heavy track so it’s not going to worry her if the track doesn’t dry out.’’
An update on some of the Waller stable’s spring big guns:
Nature Strip: “He’s having his first three quarter pace gallops. We’ve got plenty of time, he’s probably three weeks off a trial but he has come back in great order. He has the class to get to an Everest, he just has to get a slot.’’
Yes Yes Yes: “He’s strengthened up nicely, pulling the pin straight after the Slipper is a move we wanted to do just to help him strengthen and give him a proper spell. He’s absolutely bouncing in his work. He’s in a similar position to Nature Strip and will trial at the end July or early August.’’
Verry Elleegant: “She’s about 10 days in front of the other two. She was never going to be a big, robust, filly but is a bit broader than what she was. The most important thing is she’s come back in a great mindset. She’s working well with Chris Harwood who rides her every day, he couldn’t be any happier with her, and she’ll likely resume in the Winx Stakes.’’