By Ray Hickson
Nothing but quotes from champion trainer Chris Waller about all 14 of his runners at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Fiesta ($2.60 TAB) – R1 Daily Press Kirkham Plate (1000m)
“I think you could have made a case she should have won the Gimcrack had she jumped on terms. So it was raw ability that saw her finish so close.
“Hopefully she has taken good experience from that, she hasn't taken a backward step in her work and her attitude and she should be hard to beat.‘’
Sambro ($4.80 TAB) – R2 2CH Handicap (1600m)
“He has a bit of weight to carry, hence the reason for claiming. Barrier two is a good draw for him because he's a bit erratic.
“There won't be any excuses unless the makes them himself. It was a good form race the other day, Tangled came out of it, and I think the mile is the right distance.
Kaonic ($2.60 TAB)
“There was good speed on (last start) and he was made to work to pick the leader up but he did it in good style.
“It looked good to the eye, as did his first run, now he steps up to Saturday grade and it'd be nice to see him do it again.’’
Alward ($2.15 TAB) – R4 City Tattersall’s Club Cup (2400m)
“He's run second in a 2400m race in France, normally that's a good guide to their distance range. They seem to work it out quicker than we do, if you buy a horse from over there and they're running over longer trips they are usually a distance horse.
“We put a bit of speed into them as this horse has done. He's won four races this preparation and it's the right time to try him over 2400m.’’
Wayanka, Dagny ($8/$7.50 TAB) – R5 ClubsNSW Handicap (1400M)
“What you see is what you get with them, they are pretty handy horses. Dagny will appreciate stepping up to 1400m and Wayanka will only be there if the track is soft 5 or better.’’
Andaz ($13 TAB) – R6 Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m)
“He was a bit disappointing first-up, I think he did a few too many things wrong, but that was a good quality race too.
“I've freshened him up a bit, I want to ride him a bit more conservatively to get him to switch off and relax better. He's racing out of his grade but if he ran well here I'd probably run him in Melbourne during Cup week.’’
Black On Gold, Hogmanay, Great Glen, Mortar Platoon and Wu Gok ($6.50/$11/$26/$26/$16 TAB) – R8 Procare Property Services Handicap (1600m)
“Black On Gold was a winner first-up and has trained on well. Second-up over a mile will suit.
“Wu Gok ran well first-up and is looking for a bit further, Great Glen was a good run fresh and he will improve over the mile. I don’t know if he can win but he will be hitting the line strongly.
“Mortar Platoon was okay, he will win races though not out of turn but he wouldn't be my first pick.
“Hogmanay, we have to get him to jump better. So if he jumps he's a real threat and my instruction to the jockey will be to man up with him in the stalls and get him to leave the barriers.’’
Zumbelina ($4.20) – R9 Jem Computer Systems Handicap (1200m)
“She's drawn wide but she goes forward. In her winning run (first-up) she had the run of the race from a good draw, the way the race was run last time took the wind out of her sails a bit.
“Dropping to 1200m she should be competitive.’’
New Universe ($2.80 TAB)
“He's come back really well, a bit stronger and he should be in for a good preparation. He has drawn a bit awkwardly but I'm not too concerned. He looks stronger and physically better and showed the signs of a pretty good horse last time in.’’