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The Waller update for Randwick

Rosehill trainer Chris Waller updates the stable's runners at the Chipping Norton Stakes meeting at Randwick on Saturday.

Funstar

Has come back in very good shape, slightly stronger than in the Spring which is what you would expect with the natural progression of a three-year-old filly starting to reach maturity. She takes her place in the Group 1 Heineken 3 Surround Stakes over 1400m. 

Unfortunately she has drawn wide in barrier fourteen but with James McDonald in the saddle, and knowing the horse well, he will no doubt work out as they jump where she is best suited, making sure that she is well within her comfort zone and hoping for a bit of luck from the draw. 

It is most likely that she will progress through to the Phar Lap Stakes second up and then onto the Group 1 Vinery. From there we will work out as to whether she is on an Oaks path or if we should keep her to the shorter distances. She has certainly come back well and I am looking forward to seeing her run on Saturday.

Funstar, picture Stevehart.com.au

Betcha Flying

She will also be running in the Group 1 Heineken 3 Surround Stakes over 1400m where she has drawn barrier ten in a field of fourteen with Jason Collett booked to ride. I see that this filly as being a second tier type horse that could easily improve in the Autumn. She has only had a limited number of runs to date and has continued to please me, it certainly looks like she has come back well. She might struggle up against these better horses but she is certainly in for a good preparation.

Chipping Norton Stakes

The Group 1 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes over 1600m sees the stable with five runners, all of which are middle distance horses but this race is an important stepping stone for each of them.

Verry Elleegant

She has returned well with a nice first up performance. She is doing things right and is finishing off strongly which indicates that the mile will suit her. At her best she could fight out the finish but she does just need a bit of luck from barrier nine. Following Saturday’s run, she is likely to head to the Ranvet Stakes in three weeks’ time.

Danzdanzdance

She also ran very well first up and runs here second up with the better draw of barrier three with Glen Boss in the saddle. I like the way that she finished her race off from well back in the field and has trained on nicely since. She will also go through to the Ranvet Stakes third up.

Life Less Ordinary

He wasn’t disgraced first up, he got home well from back in the field and he has gained natural improvement from the run. He is a quality horse that could perhaps be just below the Group 1 grade but he will keep some of these mile specialists honest and will no doubt be hitting the line strongly. It is also likely that he will head to the Ranvet Stakes third up and realistically will be well placed in the early part of the Queensland carnival if he comes up short in the Ranvet Stakes.

Come Play With Me

He was on the back of the place getters heels first up. He will appreciate the mile and then step up to the 2000m, most likely in the Sky High Stakes and then to the BMW following on from that. The 2000m distance and further is obviously when you would expect him to start to improve.

Djukon

He is an interesting runner from Germany that has been running in some nice races over there and has got some form around some good horses. He has settled in very well and was entered to race last week however, he sustained a cut to his face which has since been cleared so he is fine to race. He worked very well on Tuesday morning when galloping at Rosehill on the course proper. Obviously it is a bit short, and he is a low rated horse with only a benchmark of 92 so it is a shame to be running in a weight for age race but I am running out of time. I am hoping to see him finish off well on Saturday and then go third up into the BMW which is likely to be followed by the Sydney Cup fourth up – those would be his targeted races for the preparation.

Yulong Prince

In the Liverpool City Cup over 1300m we have Yulong Prince having his first up run. He found winning form during the Flemington Carnival in the Spring, he has come back well and you would expect him to improve as he gets up in distance. He will be targeting one of the second tier staying races, hoping to pick up one of them and then perhaps look at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes if he continues to improve.

He is already a group one winner in South Africa so we will again be targeting Group 1 races with him in either late-Autumn or during the Queensland winter carnival.

Imaging

He is another interesting runner for the Liverpool City Cup who has come from Dermot Weld’s stable in Ireland. I have built a good relationship with Mr Weld, a trainer whom I have very much respect for, as many do here in Australia. He said that this horse would suit Australia and he has been right so far. The horse has settled in very well and has trialled nicely so I look forward to seeing Imaging take his place on Saturday. 

Obviously I do always put these European horses on notice with their first up runs but he certainly looks to be a straight forward horse and one that has good speed based on his runs in Ireland, being very competitive in 1400m and mile races there. I would expect this horse to be a chance of getting to a Doncaster. Obviously he does need to settle in well and build some good Australian form before getting too far ahead of ourselves but it is a race that I think he could be suited to.

The Guy Walter Stakes -1400m

It is always a pleasure to run horses in this race. There is barely a week that goes by where I don’t think about Guy and the mark that he left on Australian racing, in particular young trainers and jockeys. I know that with many of the jockeys it is a huge thrill for them to win the race and it is very similar for myself. Obviously we purchased the stables off Guy and Wendy at Warwick Farm and are proud to see the horses run well out of that stable each week.

Noire

She ran a good race first up and will hit the line strongly; this distance will suit her better.

Fiesta

Just by circumstances she ended up too close first up, and I am hoping that over 1400m she can run much better. From barrier four she might end up in either third or fourth position but we will not be pushing her to be there, if anything I would like her to be ridden a bit more conservatively.

Sweet Scandal

She had no luck first up and will improve from that run. She has drawn a little bit awkward on Saturday but hopefully she can get one off the fence and finish off strongly to get back to her Spring form which would suggest that she can be competitive in these types of races.

Hungry Heart

She runs in the Sweet Embrace Stakes over 1200m where she has drawn wide in barrier ten with James McDonald in the saddle. She had one run at Flemington before being sent for a short break, she has now come back in good shape. She will just need a little bit of luck from the draw and needs to make sure that she gets cover and attacks the line strongly.

In the Group 2 Skyline Stakes we have Osamu. He did not handle the track at all at Warwick Farm in the Inglis Millennium and has worked well with the blinkers on. The better the track, the better he will go on Saturday. He is a quality type and has the ability to match. He will have the blinkers on for Saturday for the first time and as a laid back horse I think that this will be a good gear change for him. He has drawn wide so he does just need a little bit of luck from the draw.

The other two runners on the day are Accession and So Taken in the Benchmark 88 1200m race. Both horses are well, Accession we will endeavour to ride a bit closer due to the good draw, and So Taken has come back well and trialled nicely coming into this. So Taken is a second tier mare and hopefully we can see her competitive and sneak some black type through the Autumn carnival.

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