The Falcon set to fly in Waimate Cup
By Jonny Turner
All signs point to The Falcon flying in the Waimate Cup on Sunday.
One of the finds of the summer for trainers Geoff and James Dunn, the pacer heads to the Oamaru track on the back on excellent second placings behind Shan Noble and race rival Got You Covered.
Though The Falcon has looked much like his powerful front-running stablemate Laver in his last three starts by leading up, driver Gerard O’Reilly is certain the horse can show a lot more versatility if it is required.
“He has been going really good and he likes the grass too, which has made him even better,” O’Reilly said.
“He is very versatile and he has got a good wee sprint on him if they do bowl along a bit.”
“But he his great in front too which is always handy.”
After missing away four starts ago, The Falcon has been exemplary from behind the tapes in his last three outings in which he has started from the unruly.
“He has been quite good lately,” O’Reilly said.
“Standing out wide on the unruly really helps him because he doesn’t have to stand around too long waiting for them to go.
“That has really helped him in that department.
While The Falcon is certain to start at the top of the betting for the Waimate Cup, O’Reilly’s has a pacer of his own that is set to start at much longer odds in race 9 owing to his formline full of duck eggs.
Having shown potential in the past, it may mean that A Rocknroll Star offers some value when he resumes on Sunday.
“He has been a bit disappointing, he has had a good spell and come back but last time in he was disappointing.
“He had a virus thing going on and he couldn’t shake it.”
“But he has had a couple of nice trials coming back.”
“His last one wasn’t as good but he was off colour again but we have fixed that up.”
“He is going in a bit fresher but he has got enough ability to be a top 4 chance.”
O’Reilly also combines with On Report, who brings two career thirds from just two starts into race 2.
Drawing on the second row over 2000m at Oamaru is never ideal, but the reinsman thinks the five-year-old can overcome it.
“He has gone two good races so far, the draw probably isn’t ideal but I don’t think it will matter too much.”
“He should be running on again.”
Shanika looks the best of O’Reilly’s remaining drives on the Waimate Cup card.
The Brent White trained mare won her last start at Oamaru but faces a step up in grade in race 10.