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Mightybeel ready for Cup challenge

Leading trainer Chris Waller holds the aces in the ATC Cup at his home track.

Chris Waller has won two of the past three renewals of the ATC Cup and he is in a strong position to add another when he starts Gosford and Lord Mayor's Cup winner Polly Grey and up-and-coming galloper Mightybeel

With the withdrawal of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Bonvicini, Waller's pair will comprise a third of the field with Mightybeel an even-money favourite to continue his rise through the grades in Saturday's 2000 metre race. 

Polly Grey, who will relish the rain-affected track, is on the third line of betting at $6.50 but with 130lbs, she will need to equal the weight-carrying record of Fiumicino, who lumped the same handicap to victory in 2012. 

Tommy Berry has picked up the ride on Mightybeel and he is backing Waller's judgement that the in-form son of Savabeel can make a successful leap into stakes company. 

"He is very progressive and he gets down in the weights this weekend," Berry said. 

"He has won three out of his last four and the day he got beaten he had excuses. 

"You see Chris Waller's stayers, when they are in form, they seem to hold it for quite a while and he gets his chance at stakes level." 

Waller will be chasing his fourth win overall in the Listed race having claimed it for the first time with Telepathic in 2015 before adding victories with Exoteric (2018) and Alward (2019). 

Berry will be hunting his second ATC Cup following a success aboard Travolta for Gai Waterhouse seven years ago. 

The top jockey teams up with the Hawkes Racing-trained Surreal Step in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) and says the gelding needs to lift on his recent performances but will appreciate a wet track and distance drop. 

"He has been disappointing so far," Berry said. 

"But the Hawkes team, if their horses aren't going well at home, they don't usually stay in work so for him to still be in work, he has obviously done very well and he is going well at home. 

"He will get a chance to redeem himself on the weekend." 


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