Coolmore Stud Stakes: Trainer Chris Waller maintains incredible record as Home Affairs sinks rivals

Herald Sun, by Glenn McFarlane

Chris Waller colt Home Affairs has given racegoers a glimpse of his future potential, but it was business as usual for the trainer with another Coolmore Stud Stakes triumph.

 Stallion-making trainer Chris Waller made it five wins from the past nine Coolmore Stud Stakes after his “electric” colt Home Affairs demolished a blue-blood field of three-year-olds to guarantee his multi-million-dollar future.

In taking out the $1.5 million Group 1 (1200m) dash down the Flemington straight on Saturday, the son of I Am Invincible gave a devastating glimpse of his future racing potential.

He also booked himself a future spot on the stallion roster for global breeding giants Coolmore, who are part-owners in the colt.

Having not measured up against the older horses in The Everest a fortnight ago, Waller tinkered with the colt’s gear and reacquainted him with an in-form James McDonald to help set up one of the most dominant Coolmore wins in recent memory.

After Home Affairs’ effortless three-length victory on Saturday, McDonald is hoping he won’t have to choose between the colt and his Everest superstar Nature Strip next year.

“I hope they don’t clash,” McDonald said after booting home one of his four wins for Derby Day.

“Nature Strip has been there and done that for such a long time now, (but) I am sure this horse will reach those sorts of heights.”

“I couldn’t believe it at the furlong (200m); I was that far in front. That’s the acceleration of this horse. He just idles through the pace early and nothing could keep up with him.

“He ran the six furlongs (1200m) so strong — he is a weapon, this horse.”

Waller maintained his incredible record in the Coolmore Stud Stakes. His past winners of the race have been stallions Zoustar (2013) and Brazen Beau (2014), gelding Japonisme (2015) and filly September Run (2020).

Home Affairs was a $875,000 purchase at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sales for Coolmore’s Tom Magnier and a host of other high-profile owners.

Starting at $5, the colt couldn’t have been more impressive, saluting from $81 outsider Bruckner in second place and $9 Artorius third, as he stamped himself as potentially the heir apparent to stablemate Nature Strip.

McDonald, who made up for last week’s disappointment with Zaaki’s Cox Plate scratching, praised Waller’s ability to get the best out of his horses.

“He is such a good trainer, he just changes a bit of gear (nose roll and tongue tie) and he gets the horse to relax,” he said.

“He is a horse who has always had so much talent. We expected a performance like that, but we didn’t expect it to be that good.”

Waller’s Melbourne representative Jo Taylor said: “I think with just a small tweak with the gear, Chris is the absolute master with those sorts of things.”

“It is just enough to help them concentrate and I think the proof is in the pudding.”

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