Chris Waller continues to set new records but if he is to match his best group 1 season he will need to sweep the features on Queensland’s biggest day at Doomben on Saturday.
Waller sits on 12 group 1 wins this season, three behind his personal best of 15 top-flight wins in 2015-16. He can draw level with wins in the JJ Atkins, Queensland Derby and Stradbroke, which would leave him with the Tatts Tiara to set a new high.
He has a stranglehold on the JJ Atkins, which is the only two-year-old group 1 he has won in his career, with The Autumn Sun, Lean Mean Machine and Zousain. They will look to give Waller a third win in the race alongside Pressday and Press Statement. He has also finished second twice with Brazen Beau and Zoustar.
The Autumn Sun is favourite ahead of Lean Mean Machine and Zousain. The latter two quinellaed the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes a fortnight ago.
Waller believes there isn’t much between the trio, and a gear change and James Mcdonald in saddle could help Zousain, which was a game second in the Sires’.
“We might put some ear muffs on just to help turn him off a little,” Waller said. “We have been telling the jockeys to come out neutral, but we need to tell them to come out negative, because the horse is jumping too well. They all need cover to run their race.”
Waller will start Endless Drama and either Foxplay or Shillelagh in the Stradbroke.
“My thoughts are to run Foxplay on a soft track, Shillelagh on a dry track. The one that doesn’t run in the Stradbroke will go straight to the Tiara in a couple of weeks,” he said.
Tangled, which has run in the Victoria, Australian and South Australian Derbies, will take his place in the Queensland Derby, and a decision on whether Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar and Another Dollar will back up against the boys will be made on Tuesday.
“Another Dollar has had no luck. She kicked back hard in the Oaks,” Waller said. “Youngstar has gone from a maiden to an Oaks winner in one preparation.
“If I had a gun to my head, I would probably say its unlikely they will run but a final decision will be made on Tuesday.” – Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald