By Brad Gray
The resumption of Endless Drama on Monday in the Apollo Stakes has been overshadowed by star stablemate Winx but there are few horses that have trialled better in the lead up to the autumn carnival.
“He’s a really nice horse. He failed in the spring but he has come back a different animal. He has come through an Australian preparation now and they take time to acclimatise,” said Chris Waller, with a glint in his eye.
“His trials have been awesome.
“He is a 1600 metre horse so the 1400 shouldn’t be too sharp for him and he’ll run a very good race.”
The five-year-old entire has two Group One placings to his name, one of those when second to Gleneagles in the 2000 Guineas at The Curragh, and will be looking to add a victory to his CV for prominent owners Qatar Bloodstock. It could come in the Doncaster Mile.
“It looks like the weight range would suit him (in a Doncaster) and he is a tough horse so we wouldn’t rule out the Queen Elizabeth the week after if he is going well enough.”
Endless Drama's latest trial - 31 Jan
Endless Drama's first trial (against Winx) - 17 Jan
By Waller’s own admission, Preferment was disappointing in the spring and although the jury is out, Sydney’s leading trainer warns not to judge him too harshly on his first-up performance.
“I wouldn’t expect him to show anything on Saturday (Monday) but he’s a horse that clearly improves once he is at 2000 metres.”
“He’ll run Saturday (Monday), into the Chipping Norton and then in the Australian Cup to defend his title if he is going well enough, otherwise he will stay here and run in the Ranvet.”
Classy stayers Libaran and Sacred Master also kick off their autumn campaigns in the Apollo Stakes, rounding out a team of five for Waller.
“Libran has had a long time off. We purposely decided to miss the spring because it was going to be a rush. He did a fantastic job this time last year and he is a genuine Sydney Cup hope.”
“He needs to be rock hard fit for the 2000 metre and 2400 metre races so he needs to be running in these races to get that race day fitness into him which you can’t replicate on the training track.
“Sacred Master has had come back well and had the benefit of a full Australian preparation as well now. “He looks an ideal Chairmans Handicap horse on the first day of The Championships (1 April) and then the Sydney Cup the following week.”
Waller will head to Randwick on Monday with a massive team of 17 runners and among them are also Foxplay in the Group Two Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and Shillelagh, who has her first run for the stable in the Group Three Triscay Stakes (1200m).
“(Foxplay) is a horse that flies under the radar.”
“She won the equivalent in the spring (Furious Stakes) on a heavy track. She doesn’t show much in her trials and performs better with blinkers which she’ll have on Saturday (Monday). She’s come back stronger.
“(Shillelagh) did a good job in the spring but again, has had a full Australian preparation which makes a big difference.
“She has drawn wide and that’s the biggest negative but she’s on track towards the Coolmore. She’s got enough class to run a cheeky race over 1200m.”