By Ray Hickson
Chris Waller has his usual strong hand at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and we've sifted through his comments on his weekly 'Stable Talk' video for an update on all the champion trainer's runners at the meeting.
Race 3 - Tab.com.au Handicap (1800m)
Merovee ($5.00 TAB) – "He’s going well, his work has been very good. He trialled nicely, a winning trial just to give him a little bit of confidence. It’s the right distance, 1800m, first-up you could say but he’s very fit and ready to go.''
Almighty Crown ($5.50) – "We’re not sure if he will run yet, we’ll make a decision Saturday morning. The horse is well, just looking for that extra distance.''
Augustus ($6.00) – "He’s been gelded since he last raced and I think you’ll see a much better horse as a result. I don’t think you could question his form has been too bad and he is a late developer. It’s a nice race for him to be starting off in and I think he will run a cheeky race.''
Race 4 - Flexi 6 Membership Sprint (1100m)
O’Rachael ($6.00) – "I think she should be hard to beat with Lee’s (Magorrian) claim. She has a good draw and will be in the race a long way. Definite winning chance.''
Miss Ballantine ($13) – "It’s a suitable starting point, there's been a few questions over the distance first-up. She almost won first-up last prep, she ran second in a Saturday race at 1200m so I think she'll be right.''
Race 6 - Lord Mayor's Cup (2000m)
Alward ($3.70) – "I think he’s a really good horse. He doesn’t get beyond 2000m, we’ve learned that, gee he should have a lot more wins next to his name than what he’s got and Saturday is a perfect race for him.''
My Nordic Hero ($21) – "He was disappointing at Hawkesbury last Saturday and I think stepping up to a more suitable distance will be a big help. When he gets a wet track that’s when you’ll really see him jump out of the ground.''
Race 7 - Rygate Racecourse Design Handicap (1350m)
Tougherthantherest ($13) - "This horse was sent up to us by his trainer Keith Dryden, he won the National Sprint at Canberra on Black Opal Day. He has a big weight, a good draw and his work has been good since settling into the stable.''
Sir Bacchus ($17) – "He’ll need a run or two, he’s had a long time off and it might even be next preparation when we see the best of him because of that. You can see he still needs to build up over his hind quarters so he’ll improve but let’s see if he can get back to his best form sooner rather than later.''
Veladero ($9.50) – "It was a good win first-up with Hughie in the saddle. Rory (Hutchings) has actually won a Group race on this horse. The horse has come back really well obviously and should run well.''
New Universe ($11) – "Awkward barrier and there are other options for him so we will make a decision with him closer to Saturday. If he didn’t run he will probably head to Scone.''
Veladero wins first-up at Warwick Farm on April 11
Race 8 - Schweppes Handicap (1500m)
Solo Mission ($10) – "Interesting horse, one that has been racing overseas and will likely improve with further. There have been some good comments about his trackwork.''
Awoke ($7.50) – "She just blew out first-up and the race wasn’t run to suit. We just need to see a genuinely run race and she can improve sharply.''
Revolver ($17) – "It’s a big step up in grade, he did everything he needed to get over the line first. He has to improve to win but can’t fault the way he’s working or looks.''
Race 9 - Ascot Restaurant Sprint (1200m)
In Times Of War ($7.50) – "She has an awkward barrier. When you’re backing horses up you like that have things in your favour especially with a horse like her. There’s a few options coming up so we’ll see come Saturday morning whether she runs.''
I Am Serious ($5.00) – "She’s had a good long layoff, she’s worked well and is a very competitive horse. I think she is more a miler, and you can see in her races she looks like she’s going nowhere at the 600m and gets warmed up late. I expect that to be the same over 1200m. She’ll run a cheeky race but it’ll probably be a race that you say gee she’ll be the one to follow next starts.''