Chris Waller knows what it takes to win a Victoria Derby — and having his horses fit enough to run the 2500m is his number one prerequisite.
Waller won the Derby with Preferment in 2013 and has based the preparation of Saturday’s contenders — Tumultuous and Wine Bush — on that.
“I know how fit they need to be to win this race and they will both go into the Derby as very fit horses,” he said. “Both should run well and run the distance out.”
The pair galloped at Flemington on Tuesday, with Wine Bush finishing just ahead.
“It was typical work for our stable as I don’t overwork them on the training track,” Waller said. “They get fit through racing, and both have had good tough races in their lead-ups.”
Wine Bush won over 1800m at Flemington two starts ago before a fifth in the Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield. Last week Tumultuous ran on well for fourth to Captain Duffy in the Geelong Classic.
“He’s a very fit Fastnet Rock colt with a good pedigree,” Waller said. “He has a sense of timing to him similar to Preferment when he won.
“Wine Bush has the advantage of already having won at Flemington in a good lead up.”
Tumultuous is a $13 TAB chance with Wine Bush at $21.
Waller also worked his trio of Cantala Stakes horses, McCreery, Mackintosh and Good Project.
Mackintosh has only had two runs this preparation, with his last a close third in the Epsom Handicap, and will be ridden by Joao Moreira, McCreery finished sixth in the same race and has had a long preparation, while Good Project is gradually making progress after a good spell.
Preferment, who is being set for the Emirates Stakes on Saturday week, also worked.
“He’s at the crossroads,” Waller said. “He’s lost a bit of interest as he thinks he knows more than us, so I’m taking the winkers off and putting blinkers on.”
He sprinted Preferment over 800m but noted he didn’t stretch out in the last 400m.
Waller’s latest stable addition, English galloper Endless Drama, will make his Australian debut in the Emirates (formerly Mackinnon). Endless Drama was placed in two Group 1s in England before coming to Australia, and recently won a Cranbourne trial by eight lengths.
He said his Melbourne Cup runners, Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman, would be suited by a fast run race on Tuesday in a similar vein to the Moonee Valley Cup they quinellaed last Saturday. – Herald Sun