Racing: Waller ready for Slipper and BMW

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Golden Slipper day 2007 was a watershed for trainer Chris Waller and the beginning of a new phase of his career.

Having established himself in the top bracket of Sydney trainers after moving from New Zealand six years earlier, Waller was thrust into the national spotlight with two stakes wins on Australia's richest day of racing.

Double Dare and Mr Ubiquitous began a four-win haul for champion jockey Damien Oliver, who also triumphed in the Golden Slipper on Forensics and BMW on Blutigeroo.

Waller's career has reached new heights in the past four years with group one winners flowing and a Sydney premiership in his sights this season.

Another milestone comes up today when he saddles his first runners in the Golden Slipper and the BMW.

In the Slipper is Fast And Sexy, a filly owned by the Ingham family who chose Waller as trainer for a new venture after patriarch Bob sold the massive Woodlands breeding and racing concern to Sheikh Mohammed.

Imported stayer Hawk Island, who represents the stable in the BMW, is part of Waller's brainchild to import tried horses from Europe to bolster the stable ranks.

"It's pretty exciting to have our first Slipper runner and to also have a BMW runner," Waller said.

"We were struggling to be a part of the Slipper but we're there this year and hopefully we'll get two in it next year.

"Fast And Sexy is obviously up against it from the outside barrier but I'm hoping she performs well.

"Hawk Island is raring to go and any rain will help him. He was placed in the Ranvet, he's in form and deserves his chance at the group one."

Waller admits his best chance for a group one victory comes in the George Ryder, where he is represented by defending titleholder Danleigh, Doncaster winner Rangirangdoo and emerging star Triple Elegance.

"Danleigh is very well and has had a similar preparation to last year," Waller said. "A bit of rain is perfect for him, dead or slow.

"Triple Elegance is flying. It's his first time at weight-for-age and he would need to run in the first four or five to win a Doncaster, which is his aim.

"And Rangi, he showed a real glimpse of form last Friday in a gallop and again on Monday.

"He might still be one run away but I'm happier now than I have been."

Waller doesn't have a mare to take on More Joyous in the Queen Of The Turf but is looking to Iron Lace in the other group one, the Vinery Stud Storm Queen Stakes (2000m).

The winner of her past three starts, the latest over 1800 metres at Randwick where Storm Queen rival Mirjulisa Lass finished third, Iron Lace is on trial for the AJC Australian Oaks.

VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse is the dominant favourite ahead of fellow Victorians Pinker Pinker and Do Ra Mi but Waller is confident Iron Lace can make her presence felt.

"She is in form with three wins but this is her toughest race," he said.

"If she can run in the first three she will go on to the Oaks."

- AAP

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