The magnificent four Group 1 WS Cox Plate wins by Winx has not lessened Chris Waller’s wish to add to the champion mare’s historic feat of wins for the stable in the 2040m weight-for-age race at The Valley on October 26th.
“Winning a Cox Plate would be nice,” said Waller this week.
“The stable knows how to do it, not just with the last four Cox Plate’s, but prior to that we had competitive horses most years and if we do not win it we will certainly have good representation in it.”
Waller nominated Verry Elleegant(NZ) as not only one of the most exciting stable prospects for the spring but also their leading Cox Plate candidate.
Verry Ellegant’s autumn was flawless with three wins in succession. First in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill on a Heavy 10 track on March 16th followed by the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes over 2000m on the same track on March 30th. The filly concluded with the Group 1 ATC Oaks over 2400m at Randwick on a Good 4 track on April 13th.
“I see her as a similar type of horse to Winx in the same year and through the experience of training Winx I only really want to give Verry Elleegant three runs and if she has a fourth run it will be in the Melbourne Cup after running in the Cox Plate,” he said.
“I will place her carefully and she will most likely resume in the Winx Stakes first up before heading to the George Main second up. This is a little bit different to the path we took with Winx because Winx had a lower rating, and then of course through to the Cox Plate from there.
“We are well ahead of schedule with Verry Ellegant and the timing may mean she has another run,” he said.
Waller also said that other Cox Plate contenders might include Yulong Prince (SAF) and Unforgotten.
Verry Elleegant (NZ), picture Sportpix.com.au
Rising stars from the stable nominated by Waller to excite over the coming weeks include the well named Funstar. The Adelaide three-year-old filly won her two starts in June with ability that has Waller thinking that if he had to put a poster of a stable runner on his wall, hopefully to not replace Winx, it would be of Funstar.
“She has won similar races to what Winx won and will be following a similar path. We will be aiming her at the Flight Stakes and having a short three-year-old spring campaign with the view to a big autumn,” he said.
“Longevity is not just about the start of the season. It is about the end of the season and next season and the season’s beyond.”
Group 2 Todman Stakes winner Yes Yes Yes is a headline act Waller says with the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 28th the target for the Rubick colt.
“The Golden Rose seems to be a great race, not only a stallion making race, but a distance defining race in the spring in my opinion, so that is where he will be heading,” he said
Following the result of the Golden Rose Yes Yes Yes might take one of two paths, either to the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington or the Group 2 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
Another three-year-old colt to be targeted at the Golden Rose is Kubrick. The Shooting To Win colt has raced three times for two wins and a narrow second to Prince Fawaz in the Group 1 JJ Atkins over 1600m at Eagle Farm on June 8th.
“He has come back bigger and stronger and he is one of the horses who has taken benefit of a Queensland winter and being prepared on the Gold Coast,” said Waller.
Accession is another for the Golden Rose with the Brazen Beau colt also benefiting from a Queensland winter and the stable’s Gold Coast quarters said Waller. Heading towards the Caulfield Guineas is Snitzel colt Reloaded who was third to Prince Fawaz and Kubrick in the JJ Atkins.
“He is starting to develop into exactly what we had hoped to see,” said Waller, just to add to the stable’s abundant spring talent.