By Brad Gray
Nothing but quotes from Chris Waller who gives punters an insight into his stable's key runners heading into Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick.
My Nordic Hero ($12 TAB) – R2 Shoot Out Mile (1600m) "Just a little concerned second up after two years that he could be a bit flat. His work wasn’t much good going into his first up run nor his trials but he exceeded my expectations. Nothing has changed since first up in his work so I couldn’t confidently suggest that he is ready to win but I think he’ll have a good career in Australia."
Tom Melbourne ($2.80 TAB) – R4 G3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) “We chose the race because of the barrier draw. We want to see him continue to settle a bit better because I think that cost him winning last start. It was made hard because he had the wide draw and there was nothing the jockey could have done.”
“Second up he was beaten by a really good horse (Happy Clapper) and went as well as he did first up so there is no reason why he can’t do it again at 1400m third up.
“I still want to keep the speed in his legs so 1400m will certainly suit and I think he is a genuine Epsom contender. We wouldn’t rule out the Hill Stakes but that would depend on if Winx is going there too.”
Comin’ Through ($2.70 TAB) – R4 G3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) “He has trialled nicely to bridge the four week gap. We purposely decided to keep him fresh and the speed in him before running over the mile in the Epsom two weeks later. He has drawn a bit wide which makes it a bit harder but he is going well.”
“Comin Through could be anything. He hadn’t fully developed until this preparation. We’ve got a stronger version than what we had before. He is very well bred and has the potential to go to the top.”
Winx ($1.08 TAB) – R6 G1 George Main Stakes (1600m) “She had a nice gallop on Saturday, and then a solid gallop on Tuesday and an easy piece of work this morning.”
“I don’t think there is anyone that purposely tear a race apart to make things hard but you’ve got to respect other jockeys, trainers and owners giving instructions to ride their horses to the best of their abilities. Everybody is trying to win and I respect that. It was just a little more noticeable last start.
“What we are all learning is regardless of the situation is that she is equally effective and that Winx is who she is. She is not unstoppable but she is a very good race horse.”
Foxplay ($1.08 TAB) – R6 G1 George Main Stakes (1400m) “She came through the Warwick Stakes a little jaded for the first seven days but since then she has been perfect. Had a trial last Friday and it’s a very similar preparation to what Winx had ahead of the George Main last year.”
“For Foxplay’s connections let’s hope she can run as close to Winx as she did last start when she ran bravely. She is a very good horse in her own right.
“She deserves to be in the Epsom at the middle of the weights and not near the top.”
Antonio Giuseppe ($3.40 TAB) and Life Less Ordinary ($4 TAB) – R8 G3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) “This race really helps the up and coming horses take that step towards weight for age, in particular Life Less Ordinary and Antonio Giuseppe. They are not weight for age horses and still handicappers.”
“It’s a fork in the road in terms of how high we aim. I’ve found in the past that you can even bring a 2000m horse back to the mile.
“Antonio has had the best preparation he has had, probably ever. This time last year he was backing up in the Metropolitan. I stepped him up too quickly and it busted him. He’s third up into a perfect race.
“Life Less Ordinary is a two mile winner in England and has shown good form over the shorter trips here to suggest he should be ready to perform over 2000m. They are at their optimum fitness levels for this stage in their preparation for this race where as the others are still coming on – Libran, Who Shot The Barmen and Kinema are looking for further.
“Life Less Ordinary we know stays while 2000 to 2400 is probably Antonio’s distance range so going forward Life Less Ordinary still might have upside as he gets out over further where as Antonio should be at his peak.”
Dagny ($14 TAB) – R9 TAB.COM.AU Handicap (1200m) “She was unlucky last prep to have not won a few more races. That prep might make her look like a wet tracker but I don’t think she is.
“I was very happy with her two trials and she’ll appreciate Randwick. She won’t be winning at the 200m but she might get her head in front in the last stride.”