Champion trainer Chris Waller has predicted a bright future for imported gallopers Great Glen and Mortar Platoon after they fought out the Provincial Stayers (2100m) at Hawkesbury.
It’s a race Waller has used to blood imports and promising stayers over the past five years and Saturday’s win was the trainer’s fourth straight success in the event.
Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal (2014) is the highest profile winner while Coup Acclaim (2013) and Hipparchus (2016) also went on to better things.
The race was not held in 2015.
“(The imports) have been the backbone to the stable as has this race, we’ve had some really good horses progress from it,’’ Waller said. “It is a race we picked out a couple of months ago for each horse and, as it has worked out, we have quinellaed the race.
“It won’t be the last you see of either of them.’’
The well supported Great Glen ($2.70 favourite) and Mortar Platoon ($6) singled out in the last 300m and only a short head separated the stablemates. Early leader Lookin’ At You ($3.50) was third.
The win continued the amazing run of success jockey Kerrin McEvoy has enjoyed this month, though he had to survive a protest from Tommy Berry to keep his 53rd city winner for the season. Stewards quickly threw out Berry’s objection.
Great Glen had his first two Australian starts in Melbourne and when asked particularly about the winner Waller talked up the lightly raced five-year-old.
“I think he will be winning Group races, he had some good form around him and he’s a pretty talented horse,’’ he said.
McEvoy echoed that sentiment and said while Mortar Platoon got alongside him in the final 200m he was never headed and showed plenty of fight. “He gave me a nice feel when he picked up and he is a horse with a bit of a future,’’ McEvoy said. – Ray Hickson, The Herald Sun