In the past, Rosehill winner Asterius would be heading to Melbourne for the greys race on the Oaks day program but trainer Chris Waller has a million reasons to keep him closer to home.
Asterius ($3.80) prevailed over stablemate Mr Reckless ($14) to win Saturday’s benchmark 88 handicap over 1500m by a short half head.
“He’s entered for the greys race at Flemington but he will go to The Gong in three weeks.”
“It’s a million dollar race over 1800 metres in three weeks which suits.
“He likes his races three weeks apart and is a horse I think might get to the Villiers in December.”
The $1 million Gong (1800m) is a new race on the calendar to be run at Kembla Grange near Wollongong on November 23 with Happy Clapper the headline act so far.
The Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 14 is Sydney’s summer highlight with the winner guaranteed a start in the Doncaster Mile in the autumn.