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Waller Facing Port Macquarie Cup Decision

An extended entry deadline has given the Chris Waller stable the opportunity to go after a third successive in Friday's $200,000 Port Macquarie Cup.

Waller did not have entry when nominations passed on Monday, a surprise given his record of three wins in the 1 1⁄4 m event since 2011.

Old Bill gave Waller one of his first NSW country feature wins in the 2011 Port Macquarie Cup before he added the last two runnings with Loving Home (2017) and Exoteric (2018).

However the extension of nominations until Tuesday opened the door for Waller to add his imports Master Shuhood and Humbolt Current to the entry list.

The champion trainer then went to the next step on Wednesday when he declared both horses as final acceptors – although neither are yet assured of a start as they are the first and second emergencies under the ballot conditions despite their high ratings.

Waller has named Glyn Schofield as the rider of both horses, indicating that only one will make the trip to Port Macquarie if scratchings give them passage to a race start.

Second emergency Humbolt Current seems the stable choice as Master Shuhood is also an acceptor for Saturday's Randwick meeting.

Humbolt Current landed in Australia from the UK in February with a record of three wins from seven starts but  is still seeking his first Australian win after seven starts for Waller despite several placings in good company in Melbourne and Sydney.

He was placed over 1 1⁄16 m t Flemington in August and has since finished second and third in god form races at Rosehill, the latest when third over 1 1⁄4 m on September 28.

Master Shuhood is one of five Port Macquarie Cup acceptors also engaged in the Benchmark 88 race over 1 1⁄4 m at Randwick on Saturday.

The other dual acceptors are Rapido Chaparro from the Gai Waterhouse /Adrian Bott stable and the Kris Lees-trained trio Mongolian Wolf, Aliferous and High Opinion.

Lees has indicated that he will start only one of his trio at Port Macquarie.

Adam Hyeronimus is booked to ride the front-running Rapido Chaparro wherever the Waterhouse and Bott stable decide to run the improving 5YO.

He won easily over 1 3⁄16 m at Canterbury before having the better of Humbolt Current at Rosehill on September 28 when he finished second in the race won by Dr Drill.

Morton's Fork, a Sandown Guineas winner as a 3YO when racing for the Godolphin stable, heads the Cup field with the topweight of 136lbs with Aaron Bullock booked for the ride.

Bullock is a runaway leader of this season's NSW riding premiership with 54 wins, 25 clear of his nearest rival Tim Clark.

Morton's Fork, now a 6YO  has had only two starts since joining the Richard Litt stable at Warwick Farm, resuming with a luckless first-up run at Randwick followed by a third over 1 m at Eagle Farm three weeks ago.


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