Waller takes season's final stakes race

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July 27, 2019 - 05:18 PM

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Godolphin's James Cummings has trained more stakes winners than Chris Waller this season but Sydney's premier trainer has come out on top in the final black-type race for the year.

The Waller-trained Seaway has given the stable its fifth win from seven runnings of the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Cummings has ended the season with 61 stakes wins to Waller's 54 with the latter well ahead in the Group One count with 18.

While Waller is internationally famous for the deeds of world champion Winx, horses like Seaway are the backbone of his Sydney stable.

Syndicated by Denise Martin's Star Thoroughbreds, Seaway may never reach Group One heights but Waller believes he can continue to reap rewards for his owners with wins at the next tier down.

"He is a Group Two type of horse," Waller said.

"He could run in a race like the Shannon Stakes and maybe sneak into an Epsom Handicap as a rough chance but he is just below the top level.

"We pulled him out of a race here a couple of weeks ago because of the heavy track so he was four weeks between runs.

"But he has shown he goes well fresh and Eckstein got home well."

Tommy Berry settled Seaway ($8.50) in a handy position and he strode to the front in the straight to hold off Goodfella ($13) by a neck with $3.20 favourite Eckstein another short neck third.

Eckstein, the winner of the Winter Stakes two weeks ago, was having her final start before heading to Coolmore Stud where she will be mated with US Triple Crown winner Justify.

"The part that won him the race was the breather he had in the middle stages," Berry said.

"He was the class horse in the race, especially back on top of the ground and he showed that."

Seaway gave Waller the second leg of a winning double, something that is commonplace for the trainer but a new feat for Cody Morgan.

Morgan brought two horses to Sydney from northeastern NSW for a 100 per cent result after Pat's Nipper won the Highway Handicap and Ligulate took out a 1400m-benchmark race.

Morgan is hoping to get both horses to the $500,000 Country Championship next autumn.