HE MAY be Australia’s most successful metropolitan trainer but Chris Waller will be at his Rosehill stables mucking out boxes before today’s Warwick Farm meeting.
Waller will have his 100th Sydney runner for the season at Warwick Farm. He already has 25 wins on the board but before a key day in the build-up to Super Saturday at Randwick on October 6, he will be in the stables with his staff.
”I did last week with one team and I will be with a different team [this morning],” Waller said. ”It is something I haven’t done in about two years but we are looking at ways to get better and get the job done quicker and by being there it helps.”
Waller’s focus on excellence in Sydney has him 12 wins clear in metropolitan winners in Australia, while the huge breeder-backed operations Patinack and Darley, which work across borders, are in second and third for private trainers John Thompson (13) and Peter Snowden (12) respectively at city tracks. However, he is not scared to work in the stables as he reviews his operation.
”Our horses do about 34,000 workouts in a year, so there is always something you can do better and we are always looking for it,” Waller said.
It is part of his success, which has delivered the past two Sydney trainers’ premierships, but the target for the next month is Randwick on his first Saturday of October. Waller was seven of his 10 Epsom nominations running at the Farm, after Velrosso was scratched, and is frank on his view towards the big Randwick mile.
”Look, some will get there and some won’t, it’s the nature of racing,” he said.
”We will let them tell us on the track if they are up to it and if they perform they will get there.
”I see that day as our grand final and that is where all our horses are heading. I would like to think I would have two runners in the Epsom and Metropolitan but it could be more if they stand up.
”Any that get to Melbourne will probably go through that day and will have to be at the top of their game to get there.”
Mon Soleil, Hoylonny and High On Believing put their Epsom credentials on the line in a strong benchmark race, which features the smart Strawberry Boy, to start the Warwick Farm meeting.
”That trio will have to win their way to the Epsom,” he said. ”They are going through that race because it is the right race for them at the moment and if they keep winning they could end up in the Epsom.”
The program concludes with the Tramway Handicap, which provides an exemption from the Epsom ballot, and Waller has three runners, all at different stages in their careers. Topweight Rangirangdoo, which won the Tramway in 2009, is in the twilight of a magnificent career.
”He is going really well and good horses like him can win races at the top of the big handicaps, and providing he is racing well, the Epsom is a real option,” Waller said.
The emerging Said Com could be heading for a spell if he isn’t competitive, while import Class Is Class will have his first Australian start in the Tramway.
”He has been here about 12 months and potentially he is a very good horse. If he adapts to racing here I think there is a good race for him,” Waller said. ”To my way of thinking, Said Com is going to be a very good horse, whether it is this campaign, I think Saturday will tell, because if he doesn’t run well he could head to the paddock.”
Danleigh will use the Chelmsford Stakes as a lead-up to the Epsom. ”He is that little bit older but he has won four group 1s and is still up to matching these horses at weight-for-age,” Waller said of Danleigh’s chances.
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