Chris Waller landed a two-state group 1 double in the space of 15 minutes on Saturday when his grand warrior Foreteller scored in the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
Earlier Sydney’s champion trainer Waller won the group 1 George Main Stakes at Randwick with Sacred Falls.
The eight-year-old Foreteller has been a spring carnival constant since 2011 and has now won three group 1 races and earned $1.8 million in prizemoney.
Waller’s Melbourne stable boss Justine Hales confirmed a second tilt at the Cox Plate was now on Foreteller’s agenda where he will most likely clash with Sacred Falls.
“It was lovely to see him win again. He always tries, he’s very honest, ” she said.
The gelding ran fourth in the Cox Plate last year and will be out to emulate Super Impose who won the weight-for-age championship as an eight-year-old in 1992.
Ocean Park in 2012 is the last horse to complete the Underwood Stakes-Cox Plate double.
Foreteller is $15 and Sacred Falls $12 in Cox Plate markets with TAB fixed odds.
Jockey Glen Boss paid tribute to Foreteller’s longevity.
“He’s been competing at this level for five years; he’s an amazing horse. He’s just got a good vibe about him,” he said.
Boss said he waited as long as possible before asking Foreteller ($6.50) for the ultimate effort as he prevailed by a half head over Happy Trails ($10) in the $400,000 Underwood (1800 metres).
“You’ve got to sneak up on him. He can be a trick to ride, but he’s a pleasure to ride,” he said.
Happy Trails, runner-up in last year’s Cox Plate is on track for a repeat according to jockey Michael Rodd.
“He ran fantastic in this race last year [fourth] and he’s done it again,” he said.
Third-placed Crackerjack King ($51) ran a remarkable race to be beaten a length.
Jockey Michael Walker took the imported galloper to the front and plotted a path no closer than eight horses off the fence.
“The ground is no good on the fence and I wanted to look after him. He’s done two tendons so I didn’t want to hurt him with the Cox Plate coming up,” he said.
Silent Achiever, the $3.40 favourite ran fifth and peaked on her run according to jockey Damien Oliver.
The dominant force of the Sydney autumn carnival this year with a hat-trick of group 1 wins, Silent Achiever has a less imposing record on Melbourne tracks with one win from eight starts.
Source: Tim Habel, Sydney Morning Herald.