Cigar smoking ahead of 2023 The Rosebud bid

Untapped filly Cigar Flick headlines Chris Waller’s Rosehill team for Saturday, but she isn’t the only promising horse preparing to step out for the stable.

While many of the trainer’s big guns were in action at Friday morning’s barrier trials, the next tier of talents will be given the chance to stake their carnival claims a day later.

Along with Cigar Flick in the Listed Rosebud (1100m), Waller has the likes of Rough Habit Plate winner Special Swey, new stable addition Extremely Lucky and Group 1 performers Madame Pommery and Political Debate all slated to kick off their seasons at Rosehill.

Exciting Group 3 winner Olentia is also an acceptor for the meeting but likely to be scratched after drawing wide.

Cigar Flick is a $5 chance for the Rosebud and has been freshened since her first-up appearance at Randwick in July when she was pocketed for much of the straight before taking a narrow rails run to surge through and score.

Waller did enter her for another race in between but decided to keep her for an early-season black-type tilt.

“She’s a filly that could go through the spring so she didn’t need two races before they started,” Waller said.

“She has done very well since her first-up win.”

The biggest hurdle for Cigar Flick could be her awkward draw with the early scratching of How Dare You leaving her to jump from the outside gate in the eight-horse field.

Jockey Jason Collett sees it as a tough ask from the 1100m start, but also an important test.

“She’s drawn a bit sticky so we’ll have a look at the field and devise a plan,” Collett said.

“I think she is definitely stakes level, to what level we’ll learn more on Saturday.”

Former South Australian and Victorian sprinter Extremely Lucky makes his stable debut in the Schweppes Handicap (1200m), the Listed winner having been off the scene since last year’s Moir Stakes.

He has caught the eye in two recent trials and while he is yet to win over further than 1050m, Waller is optimistic he is relaxed enough to extend his brilliance.

“I guess 1200 is a bit risky first-up but he’s a lovely horse, he settles and gives himself every chance to finish off,” Waller said.

Middle-distance types Special Swey and Political Debate resume in the TAB Handicap (1400m) alongside race-fit stablemates Kalino and Bullfinch and proven mare Madame Pommery.

Special Swey raced twice for the stable during the Brisbane carnival, posting a brave frontrunning win in the Rough Habit Plate before tailing out in the Queensland Derby.

“His trials have been good and his win in the Rough Habit was good. He was just too keen in the Derby and burnt himself out,” Waller said.

“He will be worth following throughout the spring, he’ll be a good mile to 2000-metre horse.”

Political Debate is on the comeback from a minor joint issue that sidelined him for the autumn and Waller is hoping the 2022 J J Atkins runner-up can make his presence felt this spring, especially once he gets to races over a mile and beyond.

About RS NewsWire

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