Paret stamps Epsom Handicap claims

Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller has had to wait until the last race at Rosehill to welcome a winner with a horse he believes can step up to Group One company.

Paret lived up to his $2.70 favouritism to win Saturday’s benchmark 81 handicap over 1350m and stamp himself as a contender for the Epsom Handicap on September 29.

Waller likened the four-year-old to 2013 Epsom winner Boban and said he hoped he could go just as far after he swept down the middle of the track to beat Gitan ($14) by 1-3/4 lengths.

“The Epsom is the target,” Waller said.

“We have been concentrating on getting him to settle and he did that today.

“We’ll look at the Bill Ritchie for him now, which is the same race Boban won before the Epsom.

“They are similar types of horses.”

Paret was ridden by Hugh Bowman, who recommended he run in the 1350m race rather than another over 1500m on Saturday.

“I don’t usually get asked my opinion but I suggested the shorter race to try to get him to settle,” he said.

“He did that today and he is ready to step up.

“The first time I rode him in a barrier trial he was wrapped up more than Christmas but he’s fine now.”

The Group Three Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) is at Randwick on September 15, two weeks before the Epsom. – AAP

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