Champion trainer Chris Waller brings a strong mixed bag to the table in Saturday’s Pacific Boating Benchmark 82 Handicap (2000m) including a horse he says could be a “lightweight chance in the Metrop”.
Waller said all four runners have claims for differing reasons on his weekly preview show Stable Talk but the market would indicate imported galloper Alward is his strongest chance, being the $2.65 favourite.
Alward ventures to the Sydney races for the first time, having had his three Australian runs in Melbourne, the latest of which he scored an emphatic three length victory at Flemington on August 8.
“He couldn’t have been any more impressive last start. He cleared out and won impressively,” Waller said.
“He’s a pretty bombproof horse, he does everything right, he’s no fuss and it will be interesting to see how he progresses.
“He could be a lightweight chance in the Metrop if he keeps progressing but probably running out of time. He’d need to keep winning to keep that dream alive.”
Hugh Bowman rides the bookies elect while Corey Brown remains aboard the $4.80 second favourite Vaucluse Bay, the winner of his two previous starts before failing last time as a $1.75 favourite when found after the race to have suffered from cardiac arrhythmia.
Vaucluse Bay was sent back to the trials by stewards and came through that assignment last week.
“He seemed to trial well, it’s hard to get a gauge on the stayers over those short trips but I was happy with what I saw and he’s pulled up well,” Waller said.
“He’s remarkably held onto his weight very well so he’s obviously coping and can bounce back.
“We’ll probably just ride him a little more conservative, we’ll look at getting a bit of cover on him.”
The stable’s other two runners, Chatelard and Quick Defence come out of the same race which was won by Chatelard.
The Star Thoroughbreds gelding is undefeated in three starts and bookies have the son of Rip Van Winkle on the third line of betting at $9.
“He’s got a good draw and will get a lovely run,” Waller said.
“We keep saying he’ll probably go to the paddock after each run but he keeps coming through his race really well so each time he goes to the races we’re lifting the bar.
“He’s had everything go his way in his races but in saying that that’s what winners do, they just keep improving and they make things look easy.
“He’s certainly doing that and will certainly be hard to beat again on Saturday but I do respect that it’s a stronger grade.”
Quick Defence, another imported galloper, produced the flashing light run behind Chatelard at Canterbury on August 16. His third placing was his fifth placing from seven runs this preparation but the fact remains it’s been 394 days since his last win and on Saturday is $14.
“He was beaten by Chatelard last start but this was the horse to follow from the race,” Waller said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of luck through bad draws and racing style. Now we’ve found a racing style for him, he gets back and finishes off and he’s certainly racing well.
“I think the big track, the extra 100m and the possibility of being a pair closer should see him hard to beat down in the weights.” – Racenet.com.au