Waddell and Wishfilly chase four straight in Dubbo final

Casey Waddell guides Wishfilly to victory in the 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Dubbo for trainer Michael Lunn. Photo: Racing Photography.

Trainer Michael Lunn believes he has found the secret to his talented mare Wishfilly that will head to Dubbo on Sunday chasing four wins on the trot in the 1310m Benchmark 58 Winter Series final worth a tidy $30,000. 

“A few of her runs were good, but she wasn’t ridden very well,” Lunn said. 

“I was trying to tell the jockeys that she is a go-forward type, and they were taking her back and it wasn’t working.”

The four-year-old broke her maiden at Ipswich back in April 2019, and after a stable change, before another eight starts without winning with Lunn, the Better Than Ready mare had only won once in 24 starts. 

Three starts later, and after good wins at Wellington and Dubbo, Wishfilly is chasing career-win number five at start 28.

“It’s hard to win three in a row these days and she just won effortlessly at Dubbo, she is going well,” Lunn said.

Apprentice jockey Casey Waddell kick-started Wishfilly’s winning run, guiding her to victory in the 1400m Class Two at Wellington on May 11 before securing the hat-trick of wins, with a victory in the 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Dubbo on May 22 and finally, another victory in the 1300m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Dubbo on June 11. 

Nothing will change on Sunday, with Waddell staying on board and connections drawing gate 14 in the final.

“She is on her in the final, she takes 2kg off her back, so she will have 58kg, which is only half a kilo more than when she won the other day,” Lunn said.

“She rides to my tactics. I like people who ride how I want my horses ridden. If they ride them my way, I’m happy and that’s what Casey has done.”

Casey Waddell brings Wishfilly back to the saddling enclosure after winning on the Michael Lunn trained mare in the 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Dubbo. Photo: Racing Photography.

Lunn is anticipating a ran-affected Dubbo track, which will suit his mudlark, who boasts two wins on the heavy and one on the soft.

“It is raining here at the moment. She is a swimmer; she doesn’t get into the going,” Lunn said. 

“She is a lightly framed mare; she really enjoys the heavy going.”

The Dubbo trainer said his in-form galloper would likely head to town next start.

“I had her in at Randwick the day after Dubbo, but she drew the 16 alley, and I worked her on the Saturday before, and I rang my brother who owns her and I said if she draws between one and six, we’ll go and probably win,” Lunn said. 

“We ended up drawing wide, so we scratched and went to Dubbo, and she won easy. If she wins on Sunday, she will go to a race in town three weeks later.”

Wishfilly looks destined to get over more ground, but Lunn wasn’t rushing her anytime soon. 

“Well, she can stick a bit, she will run 2000m,” Lunn said.

“For now, on wet tracks, I will keep her around the 1400m, because it’s more like a mile on those heavy tracks and we will see how she goes.”

Th Dubbo RSL Winter Series Country Classic Final is the highlight of a strong eight-race-program at Dubbo that kicks off at 12.30pm on Sunday.