By Ray Hickson
Champion trainer Chris Waller believes he’s found the ideal race at Randwick on Saturday for dual Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Danzdanzdance to find some form and set herself up as a contender for next year’s Championships.
The five-year-old, formerly trained by Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley, is one of two Waller runners in the Group 3 $500,000 Yulong Australia Craven Plate (2000m) alongside Life Less Ordinary.
Waller said he hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel with Danzdanzdance, who joined his stable after she failed to fire in the Group 1 George Main Stakes a month ago.
“You can't make a horse run fast but when they come to you and they have won Group 1 races you know you have something to work with,’’ Waller said.
“I wouldn't say she is out of form, she hasn't got back to the level she has shown in the past.
“A change of scenery can reinvigorate that. We haven't complicated things, I just gave her a trial and some nice gallops and I think she will run well.’’
Danzdanzdance wins a trial at Warwick Farm on October 8
Late last year Danzdanzdance won successive Group 1s in New Zealand and she stretched the Kiwi champion Melody Belle in March this year before chasing Avilius home in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes.
Waller is eyeing the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in the autumn if he can get the mare to produce her best, a win over the likes of Happy Clapper and Samadoubt on a good track would suggest she's close to her best, and he’s taken heed of plenty of advice from her former trainer.
“I had a chat to Chris Gibbs, he's a fantastic trainer in his own right, and he gave some good pointers on her,’’ he said.
“I think it is important, there's so much to learn about a horse so if you think you can take them on without asking questions you're kidding yourself.
“It's a perfect race for her to get her confidence back.’’
Danzdanzdance is a $10 chance with TAB in the Craven Plate, a race Waller has won with Moriarty (2014) and My Kingdom Of Fife (2011), while stablemate Life Less Ordinary was at $4.60 on Friday at his third run back from a spell.
The eight-year-old was beaten less than a length by stablemate Verry Elleegant in the Hill Stakes (2000m) two weeks ago and Waller sees him as a strong chance.
“He's a good benchmark for a weight-for-age horse, he wasn't beaten far behind Verry Elleegant and Samadoubt the other day,’’ he said.
“He has good winter form with winning the Hollindale, it’s his type of race and he is third-up so I think there is a bit of improvement there.’’