Rosehill trainer Chris Waller gives a briefing on the stable's runners at Rosehill and Caulfield on Saturday:
Race 3 – Ranvet Handicap – 1350m
STAR OF THE SEAS – He has come through his first up run very well and I am keen to get him out to this 1350m distance and see how he performs, hopefully we can see him go through the grades and tackle something better later in the Autumn carnival. His first up run was excellent, he has trained on well since and he has a nice draw with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle so I think he will be very hard to beat.
Race 4 – Schweppes Handicap – 1500m
ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN – He has been gelded since last preparation and will no doubt improve with the run and over further.
MCCREERY – He has had quite a long layoff but has come back very well and it is in fact the strongest I have seen him. He is carrying a bit of extra condition so he will improve with the run on Saturday but a horse like him should never be discounted, especially on what is likely to be a soft track.
SHRAAOH – Won at his Australian debut at Flemington during the carnival but that was certainly over further than this race. It is simply a starting point, he has come back very well and stayers can obviously return in good shape when fresh but realistically he is a Sydney Cup type horse in the making.
SEAWAY – He looks our best chance in this race based on his fitness and last start run. Barrier 7 of 10 I don’t think will be too much of a problem, Kerrin McEvoy steps aboard with the 53kg weight and his work has been very good. He looks to be a horse to follow through into the Autumn and hopefully he can continue on his winning way on Saturday to prove this.
NEW UNIVERSE - He will keep Seaway honest and his last two runs have been much better. He is a horse that seems to handle all conditions and the possibility of a soft track on Saturday won’t harm his chances in any way. He looks to get a lovely run from the good barrier and will be hard to beat.
Race 5 – Hobartville Stakes – 1400m
THE AUTUMN SUN - He resumes on Saturday in good condition, he is about 10kg heavier than his impressive spring campaign, his attitude is fantastic and he has done everything we have asked him to do in his build up to Saturday’s race. Obviously he hasn’t been placed in his trials but those of you that know our stable well are well aware that they do switch on come race day, especially a horse like this who has got an abundance of ability and will perform well under pressure. I am looking forward to seeing him return on Saturday and obviously this will lead into some big targets in the Autumn – the first of which will be the Randwick Guineas in two weeks’ time.
Race 6 – Spark of Life Handicap – 1100m
THE AUGUST - He hasn’t shown a lot at home or in his trials but I am sure he will improve under race pressure. I would like to see him run well before getting my confidence up too much. He is certainly a well performed horse and I am sure he will be a contender in some better races in the Autumn once we have him fired up a little more.
SO TAKEN – She won well when resuming, obviously in a much easier race but at least she has some fitness on her side. She has drawn to get a lovely run and at 54kg she looks to have a genuine chance in this race with Kerrin McEvoy aboard. I would imagine she will be able to join up in some of the listed and group races for three year old fillies at some stage through the autumn.
Race 7 – Millie Fox Stakes – 1300m
SAVVY COUP - She makes her debut for the stable, she was sent to us by her trainer in New Zealand being Michael Pittman and her owners and it is certainly a privilege to be able to get a horse like this in the stable and I look forward to her having a good autumn. She could be a little vulnerable first up, especially from a wide draw with such a big weight but I would just like to see her attack the line strongly, hoping to see her run into the money and she will certainly improve with the run.
I AM SERIOUS - She has returned in very good shape, she has trialled impressively and worked well over the past seven days. She should get a lovely run from her good draw and I am looking forward to getting her through to the Coolmore in three weeks’ time and hopefully going into the Coolmore with a win next to her name. She should be very hard to beat on Saturday.
Race 8 – Parramatta Cup – 1900m
CASTERTON– He resumes here after being gelded following his spring preparation where he ran a couple of nice races. Having had the extra time to acclimatize he looks well, but obviously this is a starting point which will hopefully get us through to a Sydney Cup. I am looking forward to seeing how he returns, obviously these European horses are a little harder to get a gauge on as they are not the best of track workers but they certainly have ability that shines through on race day which is what we are hoping to see come Saturday.
HIGH BRIDGE – He is in a very similar position to Casterton, he showed us promise last preparation with a good run in the Metropolitan and he has had a good spell after his unplaced run at the end of the preparation. His trials have been okay, obviously he has been outpaced over the shorter trials but under race conditions on Saturday, over a suitable distance first up, I would expect him to be strong late.
TANGLED – He was a touch disappointing last start, I think basically it was tempo related and second up might have been the reason for this. We are hoping that he will improve significantly, I think he will be suited by the anticipated speed in the race and can easily bounce back and be fighting out the finish.
GRESHAM - He steps up to 1900m for the first time, he has a nice light weight with 53kg and barrier 3 in a field of 13 which should ensure that he gets a nice run up on the pace. Obviously his key to success will be seeing how he can stay but he has run out some good strong miles at Randwick which are always a good guide heading towards a 1900m at Rosehill.
Race 5 – Ladbrokes Zeditave Stakes – 1200m
ZOUSAIN – He resumes in his first run for the late Summer/Autumn. He has come back very well, he has trialled impressively and has done quite a bit of work left handed in preparation for Saturday’s race. He is full of power and has strengthened up into a lovely colt, typical of the Zoustar stock. Craig Williams is aboard, as Craig will ride him in the Newmarket so it seemed logical to give him the ride now and he can get some experience on him before that race in two weeks’ time – hoping to turn his three Group 1 placings as a younger horse into Group 1 wins in his own right. He should get a lovely run from barrier 2 on Saturday and be the one to beat.
Race 6 – Yulong Futurity Stakes – 1400m
RINGERDINGDING – He races here second up, I was happy with his first up run, he has improved since then from a fitness perspective and his attitude is great and his work has been good over the past week. Obviously he is taking on the older horses here from a very difficult barrier draw so my thoughts at this stage are to go back, get some cover and allow John Allen to bring him in to the race to be strong on the line late. It is my intention to back him up in seven days’ time in the Australian Guineas which is when he will be reaching his peak.
Race 8 – Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate – 1100m
NATURE STRIP – He has come through his brilliant first up win in good shape. He had a solid gallop at Flemington on Saturday where he attacked the line strongly and pleased Damien Lane who teams up with the horse again on Saturday. He has drawn perfectly in gate 5 in obviously a big field which is going to develop into a great race. Obviously there will be plenty of speed on but we will be looking to utilise Nature Strip’s early dash and his talent to sustain a strong gallop over the 1100m distance. Being such a big field and as he is carrying a big weight we need to respect the opposition but it is good to be part of a time honoured race with a genuine chance.
CHARGE – He has drawn well, he has a light weight of 50kg, obviously taking on the older horses that are proven at this level but he is a very promising sprinter in his own right. He is a son of Zoustar and a very good looking horse and from his good barrier he should be able to jump well and hold a good position, looking to come off their backs late and prove himself as a genuine Group 1 horse. He has obviously won left handed back in the Spring at Moonee Valley and has done a number of his gallops in Sydney in the left handed direction in preparation for Saturday’s race.
Race 9 – Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes – 1800m
D’ARGENTO – He has drawn awkwardly here so he is likely to go back to find some cover in a midfield position with Luke Nolen aboard. We might have just ridden the horse a touch close first up, plus he had no luck whatsoever in the straight. He will improve off that run and certainly will appreciate a bit of extra distance on Saturday. All going to plan he will then head to the Australian Cup at Flemington in two weeks’ time.
SHILLELAGH - She has also drawn wide, as she did first up and never really had a chance to get into the race on that occasion but the 1800m will certainly suit better. Again she will go back from the draw to find some cover, Damien Oliver takes the ride and she will be attacking the line strongly late and then heads to the Australian Cup in two weeks’ time on the more favored Flemington track.
Nature Strip and Damien Lane, picture Quentinjlang.com