G1 Sydney Cup Next for Surefire
Imported gelding Surefire (5g Fastnet Rock x Modesta, by Sadler's Wells) carried the famous Juddmonte colours to victory in the $300,000 Group II ATC Chairman’s Quality (2600m) ploughing through the testing heavy conditions to stake a big claim for the upcoming Group I Sydney Cup next week.
Trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Joao Moreira, Surefire finished full of running on the inside to post a determined neck win over quality staying mares Gin Martini, Never Not Verve and High Emocean, who placed in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
"He needed to turn his form around, he's been a little bit plain the first couple of runs and a bit of give in the track today has been a big help,” said Chris Waller.
"At the 300-metre mark I thought we were home and then all of a sudden the challengers appeared, but the last 200 metres he held them off."
The run puts Surefire right into the Sydney Cup picture and Waller confirmed the gelding would take his place in the $2million staying feature over 3200m.
"No question, he'll definitely be there in seven days' time,” he added.
Joao Moreira feels Surefire could make his presence felt in the Sydney Cup next week.
“He pretty much enjoyed the conditions which not many horses would be able to do that and he travelled very nice and smooth through the race,” he said.
“When I got into the straight I just stayed on the inside, got a gap in there. It looks like he got in front a little too early, started looking around a little bit in the last furlong, but he was always going to be the strongest to the line.
“He seems to be a real stayer and I presume the connections are going to give him his chance (in the Cup)."
Surefire races for a partnership of Waller stable clients and his breeder Juddmonte Farms in whose colours he runs. He has the overall record of seven wins and three seconds from 18 starts and is just starting to find his peak form this season.
A half-brother to Group winner Button Down and stakes-winner Platitude, Surefire is now the best of seven winners from stakes-winner Modesta, a half-sister to Group I winning champions Reams of Verse and Elmaamul as well as the dam of champion mare Midday.
Surefire is one of 192 stakes-winners worldwide for wonderfully versatile champion sire Fastnet Rock, who can get stayers, sprinters and everything in between. He has eight entries for Inglis Easter that will be highly sought after.