Waller patience pays off for 2YO Lucicello

Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has taken out the final Saturday two-year-old race of the season at Rosehill with a filly who appears certain to go on with her career at three after a couple of hiccups.

Waller is noted for not pushing young horses early in the season and Saturday’s winner of the ASX Foundation Charity Handicap (1200m), Lucicello, is a prime example.

After an unplaced effort on debut in the Widden Stakes in January, Lucicello was sent for a spell and did not return until June.

She finished third at Randwick first-up but was a late scratching two weeks ago when she played up at the barriers and was sent back to the trials.

Her jockey Tommy Berry said the filly had a mind of her own and many people had worked hard to make her more tractable.

“Chris and the barrier staff have done a good job to get her to where she is,” Berry said.

“We’ve always known the ability is there. It’s been about getting her to use her energy in the right way.

“I just had to work with her and let her do what she wanted to do.

“I went with her and didn’t rush her.

“This is a big step in her career and she has plenty of talent.”

Lucicello, the $3.60 favourite, had 2-1/4 lengths to spare on Not Feint Hearted ($9.50) with the same margin to third-placed Belitsa ($5.50).

The winner is owned by a group that includes prominent Sydney racing identities Debbie Kepitis, Anton Koolman and Arthur Inglis.

While Waller attracts high-profile owners, it is a little more unusual for Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan who sent Pat’s Nipper out to win the Highway Handicap (1500m).

But with Neil Werrett of Black Caviar fame in his corner, Morgan hopes Pat’s Nipper can now step up to the Country Championships.

“The Highway races give me the opportunity with owners like Mr Werrett and Australian Bloodstock,” Morgan said.

“I’m hoping we can put her away and get her ready for the Country Championship in autumn.”

Ridden by
, Pat’s Nipper, the $5.50 favourite, surged through traffic late to beat Black Wand ($16) by a head.