Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stayer shows his class

Tight finish:

Tight finish: Jason Collett gets Coup Ay Tee (centre) up on the line to beat stablemate Bayrir (right) and Kinnersley in the Winter Challenge. Photo: Mick Tsikas

Chris Waller won the Winter Challenge at Rosehill through a remarkable ride by Jason Collett on Coup Ay Tee, but it is runner-up Bayrir who has him looking at bigger things.

The premier trainer had already had his first city win for the season with Velrosso, but Coup Ay Tee added some black-type success.

However, it was Bayrir who punters were talking about as a spring prospect.

''It was good to see him [Coup Ay Tee] do that and it was just a great ride,'' Waller said. ''The other horse did a great job and he will get better.''


Coup Ay Tee ($9,50) burst between runners to score by a half-length from French import Bayrir ($3.10 favourite) with leader Kinnersley ($41) boxing on for third.

Bayrir will be aimed at the main spring prizes and he raced like a European stayer in a slowly run race. He hit the front inside the final 200 metres but couldn't hold off his stablemate.

''We will have a look at him after that, but it was very good,'' Waller said. ''There is a race for him in a couple of weeks and hopefully he will put on a bit more condition.

''I would like to think he could get through to a race like the Caulfield Cup, but there is a long time to go until then. He certainly has made the right start.''

Hugh Bowman praised Bayrir's debut. ''I didn't expect him to have a turn of foot at 1500 metres, but he will when they get over further,'' he said. ''He is a very smart horse and will only get better.''

The tactics in the race were called into question by stewards after Under The Sun, who drifted from $2.80 to $4.80, somehow ended up three wide after jumping from barrier two.

Stablemate Kinnersley led with Bold Glance on his outside before Under The Sun made a mid-race move to be three wide.

Bowman held up Bayrir for a run to come between the leaders and sprinted to the front, only for Coup Ay Tee to burst through on the line.

''There wasn't much room,'' Collett said. ''I had a lot of horse underneath me on the turn.

''I looked to come out then went to go back in trying to find some room.

''The horse was going that well he wanted to take that small gap.''

It was a special win for Collett, who has known the owners, the Coupland family, for most of his life.

''They originally had horses with my father, who trains in New Zealand, but then they switched most of their horses to the South Island,'' he said. ''I didn't do a lot of riding down there. But I know the Couplands personally, so it means a lot to win this race for them.''

Waller made it a treble in the benchmark 90 over 2000 metres when Sacred Flyer dug in to beat Travolta for back-to-back Rosehill wins. ''He looks like the ideal horse for the Newcastle and Wyong cups later on in the spring,'' Waller said.
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