By Alex Nolan
Blinkers will be applied to promising stayer The Lord Mayor in Saturday’s $150,000 Toowoomba Cup as champion trainer Chris Waller shores up his team for the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Waller will launch a four-pronged attack on the Cup, with Follow Suit, Vaucluse Bay and Xebec tipped to join The Lord Mayor as acceptors on Wednesday morning.
The Lord Mayor is currently listed as the $6 equal-favourite in TAB’s all-in market for the Toowoomba Cup.
Vaucluse Bay ($8) sits on the second line of betting with Xebec ($11) and Follow Suit ($15) also in the market.
Waller’s Queensland foreman Paul Shailer said The Lord Mayor was being set on a Winter Carnival staying path, with a likely tilt at the Group 2 Brisbane Cup on June 8.
The gelding resumed with an even effort in the Newcastle Newmarket early last month before finishing well to run fourth behind Order Again in the 1500m Open Handicap at Eagle Farm on March 23.
Shailer said the step up to 2000m with blinkers would be ideal.
“He worked in blinkers this morning and worked well,” Shailer said.
“He has solid form around good horses in Sydney and Melbourne which should see him be competitive on Saturday.”
Chris Waller's Gold Coast-based foreman, Paul Shailer.
The Lord Mayor ran fourth in last year’s G1 New Zealand Derby with form around horses like Vin De Dance and Danzdanzdance before heading to Sydney. He has since won twice at Benchmark level and competed in Group company, including a ninth (3.4L) in the 2018 Metropolitan at Randwick.
Meanwhile, Waller’s Group 3 Belle of the Turf winner, Sexy Eyes, will resume in the $150,000 Listed Weetwood Handicap.
Sexy Eyes, which races in the same colours as world’s best racehorse Winx, will travel to Queensland later this week where she will have her second attempt over the 1200m trip in the Weetwood.
“It may be short of her best distance but it looks like a nice race for her to resume in,” Shailer said.
Sexy Eyes was allotted 54kg for the Listed Handicap (true weight 53.5kg) when weights were released on Tuesday.
The five-year-old mare is currently listed as an $8 chance on TAB's all-in market, which is headed by the Ben Currie-trained three-year-old Mishani Hustler ($6).
Waller had also nominated 2018 Doncaster Prelude winner Cellarman for the 1200m feature but will not accept according to Shailer.
Cellarman won the 2016 Listed Wintergarden Stakes for two-year-olds at Eagle Farm. He finished last preparation with four wins from five starts.