By Brad Gray
Record-breaking trainer Chris Waller has a huge team tackling Royal Randwick on Saturday, including champion mare Winx. Here are his thoughts on a number of his key runners.
Instant De Reve (Race 3, $18 TAB) – "We are trying to teach him to settle. He wants to get rolling and lead but I'm not willing to give up just yet. We’ll give him one more try and attempt to get him to settle but if that fails he’ll just get out and roll along like he likes to. We’ll have to have a look at the speed maps and if there is no chance of getting cover we’ll let him roll slightly."
Another Dollar (Race 3, $4.80 TAB) – "The first up run was very good and the mile will suit better. She is racing against the boys and won't find it easy but she’ll run top three. Why am I not as excited about her as Youngstar? I don't know. She almost beat Youngstar so maybe I need to get a bit more enthused. She is a very unassuming filly and there is no wow about her but had three black type seconds in her first preparation. It’d be no surprise to see her come out and blow them away but we’re thinking third up 2000m might be better."
Tom Melbourne (Race 5, $7.50 TAB) – "Four weeks into the Epsom is too much for him, he’d be too fresh. He is going very well."
Paret (Race 5, $6 TAB) – "He is out of his grade and we’re keeping him to 1400m. If he didn’t happen to get into the Epsom he could go to the Sir Rupert Clarke."
Winx (Race 6, $1.14 TAB) – “She certainly hasn’t gone backwards and what more can I say, she is pleasing us at home in her general self and that’s so important."
Unforgotten (Race 6, $16 TAB) –“She can’t beat Winx unless she has an off day and she hasn’t done that for 26 starts but she is a very talented horse. We just have to work out where she is heading. Whether it’s here in Sydney for an Epsom or she heads to Melbourne for a Caulfield Cup. Weights in the Epsom (52.5kg) suggest she is a winning chance and what we did with Winx when she was a four-year-old was probably the most important part of her career."
Who Shot Thebarman (Race 6, $126 TAB) – "He is very fresh and up to his usual tricks. He is an old marvel and is sound. His attitude is fantastic. He’ll run a cheeky race. He’ll stay with them but when they sprint he’ll get left flatfooted and then grind home again the last 100m."
Egg Tart (Race 6, $34 TAB) – "She is a very good horse, and improved since the blinkers have gone on. This time last year she was the favouriote for the Epsom."
Madam Rouge (Race 7, $10 TAB) – "Every spring or autumn you see a horse come through off season races to measure up and I think she can. Going back to the autumn she was going very well and we decided not to run her in the Percy Sykes but she was good enough to. She had a good break and her first up win was very good. It was always the plan to join up in this race and then go to the Flight Stakes. When you set a long range plan you get a bit bullish about them but on Saturday we’ll know, but she definitely does have an element of class. We are still learning about her. You are always looking to get a bit of cover, I wouldn’t like to be leading on her. She can be a bit handier, that wouldn’t be a problem."
Fiesta (Race 7, $6.50 TAB) – "She is the benchmark of three-year-old fillies. She ran the race of winner beaten fair and square by a very good horse in Pure Elation. The 1400m shouldn’t be too much of a concern, that’s the reason we rode her back last time to get her to switch off. Awkward gate but if she is three wide with cover she’ll be very hard to beat."
One Foot In Heaven (Race 8, $23 TAB) – "He has had the blinkers on this prep and has come back better. The 2000m will suit well and he is going to The Metrop."
Libran (Race 8, $8 TAB) – “We think that he has come back a little bit better. He went missing 18 months ago and showed glimpses of better form but he is consistently running well now. The draw makes it hard, we’ll go back and make sure he finishes off strongly. He’ll still have his chance to win but we want to make sure he is doing everything right ahead of The Metrop."
Patrick Erin (Race 8, $34 TAB) – "He has come back well but we’ve been unable to get that second run into him through being an emergency in the Chelmsford. We have done enough work with him. He is a pretty handy horse and is right on song for The Metrop. Forget his age, he is like the Barman."
Brimham Rocks (Race 8, $8.50 TAB) and The Lord Mayor (Race 8, $14 TAB) - "They’ll run next week and then back up into The Metrop if they don’t get a run here. We did it two years ago with Antonio Giuseppe. He won it by three lengths and then ran second in The Metrop so I've got no hesitation to back them up."