By Brad Gray
Chris Waller watched his two Japanese imports, Admire Winner and Satono Rasen, stretch their legs for the first time at Canterbury Park this morning having arrived in Sydney late Tuesday afternoon.
“First impressions are they are in great condition. We’ve been monitoring their work in Japan and they’ve done a lot of work. The last two weeks they have just been walking in quarantine so this morning was their first piece of exercise under saddle,” Waller said.
“We are happy with what we’ve seen but the next few days will tell us how they’ve come through the travel. That’s always a big query with any horse coming that far so the next few days are so important that they settle in well to Canterbury and I’m sure they will."
Admire Winner is a four-year-old with two wins, over 1800m and 2200m, from 11 starts, and has form around the likes of Japanese Derby winner Rey De Oro. Group Two-winner Satono Rasen is a six-year-old entire and among his 21 starts, for three wins (over 2000m and 2200m), is a second to champion galloper Kitasan Black.
“Satono Rasen is an older horse with some pretty good Japanese form especially earlier in his career. He might have just trained off in the past season but we’ve seen enough in him to suggest he could come here with the change of scenery and measure up to our carnival horses,” Waller said.
“Admire Winner is a younger horse. He’s been competing against some of the better three-year-olds in Japan and looks a very promising up-and-coming horse. They are two different horses with one having a very bright career ahead of him in Admire Winner while Satono Rasen will be more of a second tier horse but if we can get that bit of improvement out of him, he could get back to Group One level.”
Both horses hold nominations for the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships (April 7) with Waller eyeing off a lead up run in the Prelude seven days before.
“We’ll just have a look at them over the next week and put a bit of pressure on them quite quickly to see where they are at. The Doncaster Prelude is a race they could both look at but I don’t think they’ll be ready to race before that,” he said.
“They only have to stay at Canterbury for two weeks so once we get them out of Canterbury we’ll give them a trial. We just want to see them over the next seven days and then work out which races they’ll be targeted at over the autumn carnival.
Meanwhile, Waller confirmed that Winx has come through her devastating Chipping Norton Stakes win in terrific order.
“She has pulled up well. The most rewarding thing on Saturday was just seeing her back, and as good as she has ever been. That’s the only unknown was how long Winx was going to be around for – how long is she going to continue this dominance for and that was a good suggestion that she is here for a while yet,” he said.
Admire Winner and Satono Rasen are both $51 with TAB for The Star Doncaster Mile.
*Keep an eye out on Thursday for ATC TV vision of Admire Winner and Satono Rasen working with further comments from Chris Waller.