Hail king of track — all way from farm at Foxton.

You are not supposed to make the King wait.

Yet, Chris Waller is waiting.

It is the second day of The Championships at Randwick in Sydney, the elite of Australasian horse racing have come together and Waller is the undoubted king. A Kiwi king.

The former Foxton boy who moved to Sydney with a dream, two maxed-out credit cards and his high school sweetheart (now wife) Stephanie, has just trained the winners of $7 million worth of races in 90 minutes.


His horses have won the A$1 million ATC Oaks and A$2m Sydney Cup - either side of his all-time great Winx destroying her opposition in the A$4m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Everybody at Randwick, everybody in racing, wants a piece of Waller. Yet he waits. Because the middle aged fan who just told Waller he loves him can't juggle his mobile phone and cup of coffee at the same time. Waller waits for him to get the treasured selfie right.

This is part of being Chris Waller.

The 44-year-old wasn't always in demand, his story starting as so many racing stories do. From a family of farmers, he grew up with animals as part of everyday life.

Horses were his real love. Waller battled around in the North Island's Central Districts racing circuit before going all in and moving to Australia in 2000.

Apparently Sydney's race tracks were paved in gold. Turns out, with Waller's talent and work ethic, they are. Now he trains more than 200 horses, with stables in three states.

The pressure is enormous with an army of staff and hundreds of millions gambled on his horses every season. Not to mention training Winx, Australia's greatest modern-day racehorse.

But the pressure is never too suffocating that Waller won't make time for selfies with fans, even ones spilling coffee.

"I was once that guy," explains Waller. "And it is especially important to me when kids ask for a pic or a chat because I was them, too.

"If I can inspire one person to go after what they want in life like I did that is important, even though I sometimes have other obligations."

Obligations is a understatement. When Winx races - she has now won 25 races in a row - Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman become public property; the media hang off every word.

But as soon as he can, Waller sneaks back to the stables, far from the champagne and the fascinators, to check on his horses. Waller is an old style New Zealand horseman who tries to understand the animal.

Winx pulled up fine last Saturday, her fluidity of motion meaning her enormous payday took little toll on her.

"She will have a spell now and then next season we will let her tell us what races she goes for," Waller says in his calm, measured way.

"Sure, a fourth Cox Plate is a logical aim but the horse comes first. The horses always come first."

Waller's wife Stephanie hugs Christine Bowman, wife of jockey Hugh Bowman, after Winx wins again at Randwick last weekend. Photo / Getty Images
Waller's wife Stephanie hugs Christine Bowman, wife of jockey Hugh Bowman, after Winx wins again at Randwick last weekend. Photo / Getty Images

As chief executive of a huge stable business, Waller faces enormous logistical challenges and media requirements to rival those of an All Blacks coach at the height of the season. But Waller has a rule. When at all possible he tries to make it home every Saturday night to be with his family.

"I think that is important in keeping me grounded," he says.

"Even last Saturday after one of the biggest days of my career I went straight home to be with my family and few friends."

So how does a small-town Kiwi boy win the New South Wales trainers premiership for seven straight seasons, his horses averaging A$18 million in winnings in that state alone for the last five years?

Waller answers, slightly embarrassed. "I think I am quite good at identifying good horses and then trying to understand how to get the best out of them.

"And that definitely starts from being brought up on the farm. Then you keep working and learning."

Learning has meant sit downs with Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, England rugby coach Eddie Jones, and spending time in camp with football giants AC Milan.

"I try to learn from those guys because I am also a coach - training horses is coaching athletes - and managing people."

So could it be Chris Waller, Halberg coach of the year nominee? Probably should be, probably won't be.

But he already owns another title impossible nearly to argue with.

The most successful Kiwi in Australian sport.

Chris Waller

Who: Sydney-based New Zealand horse trainer.
Record: Seven times Australia's leading trainer.
Horse power: Trains wonder horse Winx.
Man of the moment: Won A$7 million worth of races in 90 minutes last Saturday.