By Brad Gray
Chris Waller has an army of horse charging towards Royal Randwick on Saturday which includes eight in the Epsom and another eight in the Metrop. Here are the trainer's thoughts on all 24 of his runners.
Originaire (Race 1, $26 TAB) - "Nice filly out of a middle distance dam side but obviously by a very good sprinting stallion in I Am Invincible. Unfortunately drawn wide in 10 but Hugh Bowman is aboard so we’ll see where she jumps and puts herself, no doubt she’ll be finishing off strongly but just needs a bit of luck."
Krameric (Race 2, $8.50 TAB) - "I think he is a very promising horse. He does a few little things wrong, more his speed and willingness to run the reason for overdoing a few things but we’ve got a cross-over nose band on him and he has been very tractable in his work with that on. The dam side suggests that he will get out to a mile so it’s a bit of a surprise seeing him run so early, lets hope its his ability getting him this far."
Madam Rouge (Race 3, $8 TAB) - "We might have ridden her a little too close in the Tea Rose. She drew wide and jumped too well to be sitting outside of the leader and I don’t think she appreciated being there at all. On Saturday we’ll ride her more conservatively and let her bounce back because she is certainly much better than her last start run."
Who Shot Thebarman (Race 4, $17 TAB) - "Has come though his first up run well. I was a little bit disappointed but going back to his previous first up runs he was beaten by almost an identical margin. I expect him to improve significantly and with showers expected until race time, that will enhance the horses chances considerably. He’ll most likely run in the Craven Plate in two weeks and then onto the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
One Foot In Heaven (Race 4, $13 TAB) - "Will significantly improve with some give in the ground. He has been going through the motions since being in Australia but his work at home has been good and I feel he is more genuine with the blinkers on. He is certainty much better than his form reads."
Satono Rasen (Race 4, $19 TAB) - "He showed us a glimpse of form in the Hollindale last prep but since then has been a little disappointing. Again with the give in the ground, I’d expect this horse to improve."
Egg Tart (Race 4, $2.30 TAB) - "I’ve been very happy with her two runs back from a spell. The 2000m is a big plus. The draw in 9 isn't perfect but Kerrin (McEvoy) knows this horse extremely well. She is very adaptable and is still reaching the peak of her ability. Certainly still an up-and-comer in my stable heading towards the Caulfield Cup. If we did happen to get a soft track, there is no doubting her soft track credentials."
Fiesta (Race 6, $7.50 TAB) - "She is the benchmark of the three-year-old fillies. She is very consistent and was not only going at two but has also come back at three. Miss Fabulass beat us fair and square last start but we think the one thing in Fiesta’s favour on Saturday is the better gate. She drew barrier 10 last start and barrier 8 before that and had to overcome difficult runs. We are stepping up to the mile but we have had this race in mind since her first up run, that’s why I've ridden her a little more conservatively, to help her settle early in her races."
D'argento (Race 7, $4.20 TAB) - "I cant fault the way he has come through his last start run. He is a very good horse and equally effective on good and soft tracks. He has drawn well which will give James McDonald every chance to get him to switch off and settle. He has got a great turn off foot which was evident on Tuesday morning when he let down strongly at the end of his gallop. We’re really excited by his chances."
Shillelagh (Race 7, $21 TAB) - "Has come back well and we think possibly better than she has ever been. We’re expecting good things from her this preparation."
Single Gaze (Race 7, $61 TAB) - "I was a little unsure of her first up run so since then we trialled her. Kathy O’Hara has ridden her in most of her work and is pleased with her. Over the mile she’ll still have some freshness in her legs."
Unforgotten (Race 7, $4.40 TAB) - "Drawn perfectly in gate 3. We saw her turn of foot in the Chemslford. She looks well suited under the handicap scale with 52.5kg and obviously Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle Is a big plus. Her work has also been very good and she trialled nicely last week, she is ticking over very well. We’re yet to make plans where we head after Saturday but I'm thinking the Caulfield Stakes. Saturday’s race is her most important race this prep so that’ll give us a good guide."
Mister Sea Wolf (Race 7, $26 TAB) - He has won his last two, albeit in easier races but since the blinkers have gone on he has improved sharply. He won’t mind a soft track and is down of weights, full of confidence. This horse loves running fresh so we’ve kept him that way for Saturday's race.
Religify (Race 7, $81 TAB) - "He needs to improve but he’ll be rolling along in front and run a tough, honest race."
Tom Melbourne (Race 7, $23 TAB) - He won’t have to be fired up, some of his better runs have been from wide gates and no doubt he’ll roll forward. If we can get him to switch off and settle, he’ll certainly be a chance. Go back to his run in the Doncaster where he had no luck at all, he jumped from gate 14 sat outside the leader and was only beaten two lengths by Happy Clapper. I'm sure he’ll improve on his last start run.
Paret (Race 7, $34 TAB) - "We were disappointed with his run last start. He is ready for the mile now. he’s a rough chance but needs to improve at this level."
Libran (Race 8, $11 TAB) - "We’ll have a good look at the speed maps and try to find a place for him to settle midfield if we can. It is obvious to me the horse likes to run home when ridden more conservatively. His form this prep has been very good so up to this trip should be a big plus."
Patrick Erin (Race 8, $12 TAB) - Really excited by this horse's chances. He is a really tough horse. Forget his age. They are just good, tough New Zealand horses and excel stepping up to this trip. He has only had the two runs this preparation but is a lightly-framed horse and very clean winded so hes ready to peak on Saturday. There's plenty to like about his chances."
Alward (Race 8, $41 TAB) - "We’re just having a throw at the stumps really. His first up run was very good, he was slightly disappointing last start but hopefully he can bounce back."
Brimham Rocks (Race 8, $5 TAB) - I’d put him in my top three chances in the race. You only have to look at his run behind Avilius last start, which was very good. He’ll improve over the distance and has been the winner of four races from 2300m to 2800m which naturally tells you he’ll improve over 2400m. I think he is a great chance,. He is a fit horse being fourth up into this and there's a lot to like about him but just needs a touch of luck from the gate."
The Lord Mayor (Race 8, $13 TAB) - "Has has won his last two. He ran fourth in the NZ Derby having done a lot of work. Based off that I think he’ll improve stepping out to the 2400m. He is backing up within seven days but that won’t be a problem, he is a very fit and healthy horse and I think a genuine light-weight chance."
High Bridge (Race 8, $8.50 TAB) - "We were always going to throw this horse in the deep end at some stage this prep and I'm happy to do it on Saturday. I want to see where he fits in and if he is not up to them on Saturday I'll take him back down the grades, win a few races and look towards the Sydney Cup so Saturday is an important race. The one thing I will say about this horse is that he is a winner. He has won eight from 15 whether they be over the jumps, on good tracks or on wet tracks."
Opposition (Race 8, $34 TAB) - "We’re having a throw at the stumps. We are a little bit behind with him and I’d like to have taken him through the grades. He is a horse that will improve over two miles so we’re steadily working towards that. To be competitive later in the spring he’d have to run a cheeky race. Slight query over his wet track form, he has had a number of starts and hasn’t delivered."
Jake's Hill (Race 8, $81 TAB) - "He is in the same mould as Opposition. He has got promise but needs to improve."