Chris Waller didn’t become the dominant trainer in Sydney by rushing and his patience with Heart Testa was rewarded on Saturday one day short of the anniversary of the gelding’s last win.
The five-year-old was having his fourth run since a 10 month absence and his strong victory in the Cellarbrations Kingswood Park Handicap (1350m) has encouraged Waller to test his distance limits.
Heart Testa won an 1100m at the same meeting in 2013 and Waller is now eyeing the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) on November 29.
‘’It opens up options and a race like the Festival Stakes in two weeks would be ideal,’’ Waller said.
‘’He might have got favours but there not much difference between 1350m and 1500m especially at Rosehill.’’
Blake Shinn positioned Heart Testa ($5) a few lengths off tearaway leader Road To Summer and dashed away 300m out before holding off a late charge from Mouro ($6.50) and King Cobia ($26) by three-quarters of a length.
Waller said he was forced to give Heart Testa, who has now won seven of his 19 starts, an extended break this year to get over some minor issues that he felt were holding the horse back.
He showed Waller with a late closing third at Hawkesbury 10 days earlier that he was on the right track.
‘’He had immature knees, there was a bit of roughage in it and we decided he needed a long break,’’ Waller said.
‘’He had a long layoff and you need that race fitness and hardness to get back winning.
‘’The writing was on the wall last start when he finished off very well.’’
Waller praised Shinn ride on Heart Testa and went as far as to say his losing ride on Permit a race earlier was the ‘’ride of the day’’.
Shinn replaced Hugh Bowman on the gelding and Waller said the availability of a rider of Shinn’s calibre, a Melbourne Cup winning hoop, was a big plus.
‘’Blake was aggressive then he was able to switch off beautifully and that was what won him the race,’’ Waller said.
‘’He’s a carnival jockey riding in form and that is a big help for a trainer.
‘’They make the right decisions more often than not, owners like getting their feedback and they accept when they get a bad ride.
‘’His ride on Permit was probably the ride of the day, first-up at 1900m with 59.5kg and he was only beaten a short margin.’’
Source: Ray Hickson, Courier Mail.