A week after celebrating Winx’s third Cox Plate, Chris Waller will turn his attention to the Flemington carnival starting with Victoria Derby day when Tangled represents the champion Sydney trainer in the feature race.
Waller won the $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington three years ago with Preferment and Tangled is among the main contenders for Saturday’s Classic after runner-up finishes in two important lead-up races.
Waller applied winkers to Preferment for the Derby after his second in the Geelong Classic.
The trainer has also opted to put winkers on Tangled for the first time on Saturday after a pleasing course proper gallop in the gear at Flemington on Tuesday morning with race jockey Blake Shinn aboard.
Tangled was beaten in a close finish to the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney two starts ago behind Saturday’s Derby favourite Ace High.
He was then runner-up in the Caulfield Classic to Cliff’s Edge who is not in the Derby.
“He worked well in the winkers and he’ll wear them in the Derby,” Waller said.
“I feel he’s had a good preparation for a Derby. He’s a nice strong horse, well-bred. He’s got a good attitude and we’ve got a good in-form jockey.
“So there’s a lot to like about Tangled heading into the Derby.”
Tangled is by champion stallion Snitzel out of 2003 New Zealand Oaks winner Bramble Rose.
“He’s a very masculine horse with a great temperament,” Waller said.
“He’s had a bit more racing and has a bit more race sense than what Preferment had.
“Preferment won the Derby as a maiden, but this horse has got a bit of class about him and has even won over short distances.
“He’s a Group winner over 1200 metres. He’s out of an Oaks winner and that’s always a big plus and he’s by a great stallion in Snitzel who interestingly is a sprinter.”
Tangled is Waller’s only Derby runner but the trainer has chances in all four Group One races at the meeting.
He has Foxplay and French Emotion in the Myer Classic while Shillelagh is fourth emergency.
Shillelagh is also one of six runners for the stable in the Kennedy Mile in which Egg Tart and Tom Melbourne are among the main chances at $6.
Waller has trained the winners of three of the past four Coolmore Stud Stakes’ and has $51 chance Andaz lining up this year. – AAP