The Chris Waller-trained Brimham Rocks has earned a ticket into the Caulfield Cup with his first Australian victory in the MRC Foundation Cup.
Saturday’s win in the Group Three race over 2000m erased last year’s spring disappointment where he notched six consecutive placings.
Ridden by Michael Walker, Brimham Rocks ($21) scored by 1-1/4 lengths from stablemate So You Win ($12) with Sikandarabad ($3.90) 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Waller’s Melbourne representative Johanne Taylor said Brimham Rocks narrowly missed a start in last year’s Melbourne Cup when second to Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran in the Hotham Handicap on Derby day.
She said the imported gelding had been disappointing in the autumn but had come back this preparation in better shape and was ready for a shot at the Caulfield Cup.
“He’s certainly earned it but I’m sure Chris is really happy just to see this horse return to form,” Taylor said.
“He was certainly convincing today.
“He’s a horse that I think has a lot of upside to him and whether Chris wants to give him another run, I don’t know if it’s completely necessary, but the options are there if Chris wants to.
“I think on what we saw today, he’s fit and well and we know the trip isn’t an issue for him.”
Taylor said she was unsure how many horses Waller intends starting in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
“He doesn’t like having horses in it for the sake of it,” Taylor said.
“We’ve had horses here we thought would have been suited, but for reason it hasn’t gone our way.”
Taylor was thrilled with the performance of So You Win, the only runner in Saturday’s 12-horse field not racing for a ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup.
“We’ll look at the program and see where he fits in, but there’s no reason why he can’t progress to some bigger tasks,” Taylor said.