Religify had petrol in tank in handicap romp

IT WAS the conversation between trainer Chris Waller and jockey Tommy Berry after Religify’s win that was most telling.
Waller was keen to get Berry’s assessment after the long odds-on favourite momentarily looked in trouble halfway down the straight in the 1100m race at Canterbury.

“We got a couple of cheap sectionals in front then at the 600m when I went to improve on him he dropped the bit,’’ Berry said.

“He got lost a bit on the corner. He came up the hill and didn’t quite know how to take the corner. But once he balanced up and I pulled the stick, he shot away. It may not have looked his most impressive win yet but he had a lot left.’’

Waller was more than satisfied and so was Star Thoroughbreds’ Denise Martin, who bought Religify for $135,000 as a yearling and looks to have another top-class galloper.

Religify ($1.40 favourite), named after a popular song of acclaimed jazz saxophonist Euge Groove, scored his third city win in succession and his fourth from just five starts when he beat Terra Amata ($6.50) and Tahitian Black ($16).

Waller said he was also impressed with the way Religify dug deep when pressured by Terra Amata about 200m out.

“The last 100m he got away from them really well,’’ Waller said.

“Religify has a nice cruising speed and he will be even better on a bigger track.

“I feel 1200m and 1300m will suit him a lot.’’

Waller hinted that he is likely to give Religify one or two more runs this preparation before sending the striking chestnut for a spell.

“I don’t want to keep him going for too long,’’ he added.

“He has come a long way this preparation — it’s about building his confidence.’’