The training genius of Chris Waller was never more evident than after he prepared Shoot Out to win the group one George Main Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Waller, Sydney's premier trainer, gambled by starting Shoot Out first up in the feature weight-for-age race over the tough mile course.
The result proved a training triumph, as not only did he have Shoot Out fit enough to win, the trainer celebrated with a quinella, as veteran Rangirangdoo ran a close second.
"This is very satisfying, I really can't put into words what it is like to train such outstanding horses as Shoot Out and Rangirangdoo," he told the Herald Sun. "They have both run great races and even Danleigh [sixth] ran well."
Shoot Out ($4 favourite), well ridden by Hugh Bowman, scored by a neck from Rangirangdoo ($5) with Secret Admirer ($4.80) 2 lengths away third, just in front of All Too Hard.
Waller confirmed Shoot Out would now be aimed at the A$500,000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 6.
Shoot Out ran a close second to champion mare More Joyous in the Doncaster Mile last autumn and that pair head the Epsom weights.
More Joyous has 60.5kg and is almost certain to miss the race, which means Shoot Out will be topweight with 58kg.
"I think Shoot Out is well weighted in the Epsom," Waller said.
"If Shoot Out can keep winning, then we would consider the Cox Plate, but there is also a race like the Mackinnon Stakes that would suit him."
Shoot Out will attempt to join Racing To Win (2006) as the only horse to win the George Main Stakes-Epsom Handicap double since Imposing in 1979.
The tough 6-year-old scored his ninth win from 30 starts to take his earnings to nearly A$2.9 million.
Waller obviously took into account Shoot Out's record at Randwick when he decided on his audacious plan to run the gelding first up in the George Main Stakes.
It was also a reflection of Waller's confidence in his own training ability.
"When you are winning races, you don't get questioned as much as say a younger trainer does. You get the confidence in yourself to try things but a trainer only learns from his mistakes and I still make plenty."