Marsabit to back-up in the Wagga Gold Cup

Danny Williams will employ a formula he has used successfully with his Group 1 winner Shelby Sixtysix and back-up Rosehill winner Marsabit in next week’s Wagga Gold Cup.

Shelby Sixtysix was one of the stars of last year’s autumn carnival when he turned up week after week and thrived, culminating in his 2022 Galaxy victory.

While there are only plans for Marsabit to back-up once, Williams is hoping for a similar result and says Friday’s Listed Wagga Cup (2000m) has been a long-range aim for the five-year-old.

The fact he managed to plunder Saturday’s Toyota Forklifts Handicap (1800m) en route was a bonus, although Williams admitted he hadn’t banked on striking a heavy track at Rosehill and had some concerns how much that would take out of the horse.

“Our goal, and it always has been, is the Wagga Cup,” Williams said.

“If he was to draw a soft gate, low weight, good speed, I think he’s a good chance.

“It’s a bit of a worry running on a heavy track today and backing up in six days, but he pulled up so well after Orange I thought we’ve got to give him a chance.”

Marsabit had finished runner-up in the Albury Cup and Orange Cup at his past two starts but with a three-week break until Wagga, Williams opted to run him at Rosehill as he was concerned the horse might do too well in the stable.

He said it was a delicate balancing act and one he hoped he’d got right.

“He pulled up so well after Orange and I thought three weeks between runs might have been a bit too much and he may have been a bit fresh,” he said.

“We wanted to take the edge off him today and hopefully it’s not too much.”

Jay Ford partnered Marsabit ($17), bringing the horse with a sweeping run from the back to edge out the Gosford Cup-bound Navajo Peak ($3.60) and Quality Time ($7).

Reigning champion Sydney apprentice Tyler Schiller brought up his 50th win of the season a race later aboard Money From The Sky and fittingly, he achieved it aboard a horse trained by his boss, Mark Newnham.

Schiller, who will transfer his indentures to Ron Quinton when Newnham relocates to Hong Kong next month, was thrilled to combine with his mentor for another milestone before his departure.

“It’s super. Mark has supported me a lot coming through the ranks and to push me down this path, get me to the top last year and so close this far through this season, it’s a great credit to him,” Schiller said.

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