The meticulous placement that has been a trademark of Chris Waller’s success with imported horses is about to be challenged with former Hong Kong galloper Silverball.
Making up for an unlucky Rosehill defeat at his Australian debut, Silverball revelled in the heavy going to come from the back of the field to win the Liverpool City Council Handicap at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
But the grey’s history as a bleeder – and a dearth of suitable Sydney races – is likely to force Waller’s hand with a horse which raced against the best in Hong Kong without showing his true form.
“A horse like him, I wouldn’t take through the grades as much as we would with the other horses we’ve had from overseas,” Waller said.
Starting favourite, Silverball carried $2 to $1.80 support before beating Commission ($3.20) by 1-1/2 lengths with Divertire ($7.50) a half length away third.
But Waller says finding the six-year-old’s next race won’t be easy.
“There’s not much around for him in Sydney and we might even look at Melbourne,” Waller said.
Waller will be in less of a hurry with his two-year-old winner Labdien.
Labdien ensured her sire Stryker, one of the first horses Waller trained for the Ingham family, continued to leave his mark on Sydney’s premier stable.
Stryker was retired to stud as the winner of the Heritage Stakes and BTC Classic and a two-time Group One placegetter in the Golden Rose and Galaxy.
From limited runners, Stryker has produced four winners with Labdien also coming from last to score in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1000m).
“We weren’t going to run her because of the heavy track but I’m glad we did,” Waller said.
Labdien overcame a $4.40 to $10 betting drift to snatch a last-stride win over the heavily supported favourite Magic Diamond ($2.10).
The winner’s stablemate Pioneering ($6.50) was a short head away third.
Waller says Stryker’s progeny remind him of their sire and with that mind he will turn Labdien out for a spell.
“I’ve got two in my stable by him and they are going to be better three-year-olds, just like he was,” Waller said.