Chris Waller returns to Rosehill for Saigon Tea’s victory, and inspired by a trip to Ballydoyle stables

CHRIS Waller was in a talkative mood — and it wasn’t all about Saigon Tea.
The champion trainer only returned from Ireland on Saturday morning but was at Rosehill Gardens to watch Saigon Tea win the Horsepower Feeds and Supplements Handicap (1800m).

Waller was full of praise for Saigon Tea’s resilience but he also spoken at length about his visit to Coolmore’s famous Ballydoyle stables, the time he spent with Irish training genius Aidan O’Brien, and about Cox Plate hero Adelaide.

“The trip to Ballydoyle was indescribable, it was an amazing experience,’’ Waller said.

“Aidan O’Brien and his family are just normal people, very down-to-earth. It is all about the horse for Aidan, it is not about money.

“I asked him a lot of questions about his training methods. It was an eye-opener, his attention to detail is incredible.

“He also asked me a lot of questions, he was very respectful of the way we do things here in Australia.’’

Waller also took the time to learn more about new stable addition, Adelaide, who O’Brien trained for a famous Cox Plate win during the Melbourne spring carnival.

“Aidan told me about the horse’s idiosyncrasies,’’ Waller continued.

“They had filmed all of Adelaide’s trackwork gallops and showed me what to look out for.

“He also told me about the horse’s capabilities and how good he is.’’

Waller will prepare Adelaide for The Championships in Sydney next autumn with the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 the main goal.

Despite his long flight home, Waller was back at work on Saturday as Saigon Tea ($3.20) finished too strongly for favourite Medcaut ($2.20) before scoring by one-and-three-quarter lengths with Dowdstown Charlie ($9) three-quarters of a length away third.

Waller said Saigon Tea was a tough, versatile mare who can mix her distances and performs on wet or dry tracks.

“We probably haven’t worked out her best distances yet but we do know she is very competitive in what ever you ask of her,’’ Waller said,

“She has done fantastic job this campaign as have sent her interstate and back and she continues to race well.

‘’Today, the Godolphin horse (Medcaut) was travelling well and it looked like he needed to pull something extra out to beat him and she did.’’

Waller had been aiming Saigon Tea at the Listed $100,000 Christmas Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick next Saturday and it was almost an afterthought to start her at Rosehill yesterday,

“We had identified next week’s race until we say the nominations and the weather forecast so we decided to go for this race,’’ he said.

Sydney’s premier trainer said there was now no chance of Saigon Tea backing up in the Christmas Cup.


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