Wexford omen key for Waitak’s Quokka

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  • April 19, 2024
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Wexford omen key for Waitak’s Quokka

Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

An omen barrier may prove the key to Waitak’s success in a star-studded line-up for Saturday’s A$4 million The Quokka (1200m) in Perth.

The son of Proisir is trained by Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, and the latter flew from their Matamata base to Western Australia to be present at the Breakfast With The Stars promotional event, where he drew barrier 10 for the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) winner.

While the gate assists Waitak’s racing pattern of settling back and showing his sharp sprint late, it also has acted as a springboard for many of Wexford’s great victories, more recently Molly Bloom’s Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m), and Dragon Leap’s Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m).

“It’s been a very lucky number for our stable with good results as number 10, and barrier 10,” Scott said. “My birthday is actually on the 10th as well.

“For Waitak, it suits him as he can go back and settle in, and possibly be in the open to get home late. It should give him an opportunity to open up in the straight.”

Earlier yesterday (Wednesday) morning, Waitak and travelling representative Erin Leighton galloped on the course proper at Ascot Racecourse with Scott watching on.

“He worked yesterday morning on the course proper on nice soft ground and we couldn’t have been more pleased with how he moved through his gallop. Erin was really pleased, she said he felt quite explosive so we couldn’t be happier with his work,” he said.

“He’s handled the travel and recovered well, his appetite is good and he’s consuming a good lot of feed.

“He’s sound and very well within himself, and he’s continued to thrive over here in the warmth.”

With temperatures reaching as high as 33 degrees in Perth this week, Scott has been wary of the four-year-old’s routine in contrast to the Kiwi climate.

“We’ve brought his work back a fair bit with the heat, as well as with his long trip over, you can’t quite do as much as you would back home in cooler temperatures. It’s just been a matter of ticking him over,” Scott said.

“We’re under no illusion that it’s going to be a very strong field, but he’s going as well as he can which is the exciting part. They’ve done a great job of building the race up so it’s all go for Saturday.”

Waitak and jockey Kyle Wilson-Taylor will represent Trackside Media in the A$4 million slot race, and he has shortened into $26, with glamour local mare Amelia’s Jewel heading the TAB Fixed market at $3.50.

Wexford will also have three representatives at their home meeting on Friday, with Tempest, Ever Charm and Baggio all poised to break maidens at short notice.

Well-bred mare Tempest has been six times a bridesmaid and will contest the Entain – NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m) in the colours of Pencarrow Stud.

“It’s important to the connections, and to us, that a daughter of Frankel goes to the broodmare paddock a winner, and she’s been very close in the past. She goes well fresh and gets a home track advantage tomorrow, so hopefully she can break through for a well-deserved,” Scott said.

Stablemates Baggio and Ever Charm will face-off in the following race, the J.P Wills Bloodstock 1400, with the former finishing runner-up in his sole race-day start in early February.

“Baggio’s trial was good in between times as he’s been away from the races for a wee bit, but he’s fit and worked in a manner that suggests he’ll race very well. We’re confident he’ll be right in the mix tomorrow,” Scott said.

“We had Ever Charm going over the summer months, but he’s certainly going to appreciate the autumn give in the ground. He’s in for a good autumn preparation, possibly an improver out of tomorrow, but we think he’ll get through a couple of grades this time in.”


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