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Waller colt could be a winter carnival Force

Chris Waller has long been a proponent of seasoning his later-maturing two-year-olds during the Brisbane winter carnival, and Canterbury winner Imperial Force is poised to follow that route.

The highest price colt sold at last year's Inglis Easter Sale, the son of Snitzel out of Gold Fever mare Ultimate Fever was a $1.6 million purchase for Coolmore's Tom Magnier and is raced as part of its colts' fund. He looks to have a bright future judging by the dominance of his 3-3/4 length win in Wednesday's James Squire Handicap (1250m), and while Waller will consult with his ownership group before locking in a plan, he is keen to take Imperial Force north.

"My push would be towards Queensland for a big race or two up there," Waller said. "He's a good colt and it has worked well for us in the past.

"It helps mature horses and give them confidence and they come back a bit race smart. If you just turn them out now after two runs and you expect them to run in the big races when they come back, they still haven't learned enough."

Waller confirmed the Group 2 BRC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) are among the options being considered in Brisbane.

The champion trainer has enjoyed great success in the Queensland features, particularly the Atkins which he has won with The Autumn Sun (2018), Press Statement (2015) and Pressday (2010). Both The Autumn Sun and Press Statement went on to capture the Caulfield Guineas the following spring, while Pressday won the Sandown Guineas.

Waller likewise seasoned Zoustar and Brazen Beau in Queensland, that pair placing in the Atkins and developing into Group 1 winners at three.

The stable also has winter carnival plans for former New Zealand filly Little Jeanie (NZ), who appreciated a distance rise to 1550m to score a strong win in the opening race at the midweek Canterbury program.

A daughter of noted staying sire Savabeel, Little Jeanie (NZ) is being aimed towards the Queensland Oaks, possibly via the Listed Princess Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.

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