By Ray Hickson
He was meant to be part of Chris Waller’s assault on a fourth TAB Epsom but the champion trainer is confident Dealmaker can give his owners something to cheer about on Epsom Day at Randwick.
The four-year-old is a winner of just one of his 17 starts, a Kensington maiden in June 2018, but recorded six Group placings at three and that’s why Waller had him earmarked as a horse that could step up in the spring.
He wound up his autumn with placings in three Group 3s – the Carbine Club, Frank Packer Plate and Rough Habit, the last two at 2000m and high hopes for the new season.
“At the end of the autumn I said to the owners we’ll set this horse for the Epsom,’’ Waller said.
“We got the day right but unfortunately he’s not in the Epsom.
“Obviously I think enough of him to talk about those types of races so you’d think he’ll be fighting out the finish of this race if I’m anywhere near the mark.’’
Dealmaker may have earned his way into the Epsom had he been afforded a bit more luck in a couple of his three starts back this campaign.
He has been an eye-catcher in all three runs, the latest sixth behind Junipal, who is in the Epsom, over the Randwick mile two weeks ago.
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data out of the Shoot Out Mile shows he ran the fastest last 200m of 11.87 and the second best last 600m of 35.31 after settling last from a wide barrier.
Waller said now the gelding has drawn favourably they’ll be taking advantage and he gets his chance to break through in the Gow Gates Handicap (1600m) where he's $3.30 TAB favourite.
“He’s had no luck at all his last few runs,’’ he said.
“Obviously he is a horse that gets back and we won’t be riding him closer but he will naturally settle closer from a good draw.
“He won’t be getting dragged back to find cover so hopefully midfield can see this horse turn back on.’’
Waller has six runners in the Group 1 $1m TAB Epsom (1600m) and here are his comments on each of them:
Unforgotten ($23): She’s not racing anywhere near her best but we see her drop to a nice light weight in a race she was very unlucky in last year. She’s drawn well and Jay Ford rides the 51kg.
Mantastic ($61): Great winter form and obviously up against some stiffer competition over a slightly shorter than his best distance. But it’s a race he’s been set for and there has been merit to his last couple of runs and he will improve.
Kolding ($5): I guess he’d be our pick along with Star Of The Seas and the market would back this up. Kolding has done a great job through the autumn and come up very well in the spring. He has Glen Boss aboard who needs no introduction to big race wins. I’ve been happy with his work in the last fortnight since his good last start win.
Kolding wins the Bill Ritchie at Randwick on September 21
Le Juge ($101): He went to Queensland to find his confidence and did a great job up there including winning a Group race. There was more merit to his last start run, he will be strong at the end of the mile. He will go back from the draw and leave it to Jess Taylor to enjoy the ride and hopefully sneak into some of the prizemoney.
Star Of The Seas ($19): He’s been set for the race for some time. He had no luck at all a fortnight ago and fortunately has found his way into the race. Michel Dee is a good rider under these circumstances, he’s won a couple of Group 1 miles for the stable. He has the blinkers back on, all of his wins have had the blinkers on, so there’s no major change there.
Kaonic ($51): He is never far away and threatened to be a good horse. He has won some nice races and placed behind some good horses. He’s come back a nice horse as a gelding, there’s a lot of merit to his run at Newcastle when coming from a long way back. He gets his chance, he’ll be strong at the end of the mile.