By Ray Hickson
Chris Waller has established a top five among his two-year-old crop and Flying Pierro isn’t among them.
But that’s not to say the premier trainer doesn’t regard his runner in the Book Summer Hospitality Today Plate (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday as having some talent.
It’s just when you have a Breeders’ Plate winner in Performer and last week’s impressive debutant Orcein in the mix the bar is a lot higher than it has been in previous seasons as Waller increasingly places more attention on the youth in his stable.
“We've gone to the sales and targeted some earlier types and put a little more pressure on them than we normally would,’’ Waller said.
“What I understand is if you're not seen as a two-year-old trainer you're not given sprinting types to train.
“While we've won the Group 1 title the last five years you need those speed two-year-olds to be competitive at three.
“If you're not getting them through the stable it makes it harder because you're relying on the late season three-year-olds, stayers and older sprinters to fly the flag.’’
Performer heads TAB’s Golden Slipper market at $8 on the strength of his impressive Breeders’ Plate success and Waller confirmed the colt returns to his stable next week.
When asked about having the Slipper favourite in his care at this stage of the season he said “it means nothing’’ but it’s obvious he’s keen to finally win the world’s richest two-year-old race, which Performer will tackle at his fourth race start.
To date Waller has only had one Golden Slipper starter – Jade Marauder ran 15th in 2012, ironically behind Pierro.
Flying Pierro, obviously by Pierro, carries the Ingham all cerise and is a daughter of former smart mare We Betcha who managed to win at her debut back in 2009.
The colt, a $10 chance with TAB, ran third in his only public trial, at Rosehill on November 24, and kicks off another handy book of rides for jockey Tye Angland.
“He's a professional horse, he's done everything right and that's the reason why he's there,’’ Waller said.
“He's probably not in our top five but he's bred to continue to improve.’’
Flying Pierro's trial Rosehill – November 24
Exactly which horses make up Waller’s top five would be intriguing to know as he’s only had a handful of two-year-olds to the races so far this season. It’s safe to say we haven’t seen most of that quintet yet.
Angland partners the in-form Best Guess for Waller in the ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1300m).
The four-year-old led all the way to win over 1200m at Rosehill two weeks ago and holds early favouritism at $3.40 with TAB.
“Best Guess is a talented horse but he has an awkward gate which is the only query,’’ Waller said.
“I think 1300m will suit him and he has a bit of class on his side.’’
Stablemate Pioneering ($11) resumes in the same event after a below par winter campaign which saw her unplaced in all four starts.
Her two trials this time in have been sound, the latest a fourth behind To Excess on November 24, though Waller would like to see her return to form to give him some confidence about her.
“She was disappointing last prep, I was happy enough with her trial the other day,’’ he said.
“I thought she would have gone to another level but she didn't.’’