English import Mornington will take a leading role in Chris Waller’s seven-pronged attack on the 2000-metre race at Rosehill.
Now owned by Richard Pegum, Mornington has had two 1800m-runs in Australia for third and fourth.
“We normally find they take a preparation or two to hit their straps. He’s in his first preparation and doing a fairly good job,” Waller said.
Mornington, the joint $6 favourite on Friday alngside stablemate Carzoff and the Bjorn Baker-trained Impavido, runs in the National Jockeys’ Trust Handicap (2000m).
“He’ll appreciate stepping up to 2000, although it’s still short of his best. A bit of give in the the track will also suit,” Waller said.
Mornington is one of five imports in Waller’s contingent while Tumultuous and Hogmanay are his home-grown contenders in the field of 13.
Waller rated Lead Choreographer ($8.50) as one of his best hopes, providing the introduction of a Norton bit has the desired result.
“He’s shown no respect to his riders and over-raced in his last two runs,” he said.
“The gear change should help Josh Parr control him better and for that reason he’s a top-three chance.”
Waller has also taken remedial measures with topweight Hogmanay ($11) after a subdued run over 1800m, backing off his workload.
He felt Carzoff required luck from barrier 12, Mortar Platoon ($16) would appreciate rain after struggling last-up on a good surface and mare Firebird Flyer ($17) faced a significant step up in grade as a lightweight chance.
Tumultous ($6.50) needed forecast rain to miss Rosehill.
“Anything worse than a four, he fails on,” Waller said..
“That’s the difference between an Australian-bred horse and a European. He really likes a good track.”