The reason why Chris Waller dominates racing was summed up at Randwick on Saturday by Richard Pegum who owns shares in the Epsom-Metropolitan double winners, He’s Your Man and Junoob.
“That is my best day in racing. I have won a Melbourne Cup but wasn’t there – that was unforgettable,” Pegum said.
“It is because of Chris this is so good. He is a great trainer and he and his team make racing fun.
“He is honest and earnest about everything he does and has great values. He enjoys his owners winning more than anyone I have met.
“He is doing things I haven’t seen in racing I have been around a while and he keeps rewriting the records.”
Waller was once again the star of the Sydney’s grand final day as he called it in front of 21,120 punters.
He had the winner in the Epsom and the Metropolitan to go with his quinella in the George Main Stakes two weeks ago. Add that to having the first four in the Doncaster and first six in the Chelmsford Stakes and he seems an unstoppable force.
“This is our grand final and to have day like that I’m very proud,” Waller said. “It’s now on to Melbourne with horses in form. I’m not looking to takeover down there but we will be very competitive.”
He started the day by winning the Roman Consul Stakes with Brazen Beau, which is on target for the Coolmore Stud Stakes then Moriarty turned around a poor last run to win the Craven Plate while Who Shot Thebarman won the Bart Cummings at Flemington.
But once the group 1 action started Waller was centre stage, He’s Your Man beat stablemate Royal Descent in the last stride in the Epsom, before Winx was gusty but outclassed as runner-up to First Seal in the Flight Stakes.
Then Junoob capped a wonderful day for the Waller stable in the Metropolitan by leading home his second group 1 quinella for the afternoon beating Opinion.
He had to survive a protest from Tye Angland alleging interference at 600m mark, and copped a fine of $200 for being frivolous. Junoob smashed Railings’ race record from 2005 by two seconds running 2.26.51 for the 2400m in the strong of staying effort and the Caulfield Cup beckons. A race Railings also won in 2005.
Waller doesn’t know how many runners he could have in two weeks over the 2400m at Caulfield.
“It is a race that owners dream about and it is a part of racing history, so you want to go there,” Waller said. “Those two are obvious stayers we will look at for the Caulfield Cup but we have to see where they fit on the order entry.”
Junoob has 52kg in the Caulfield Cup and is open to penalty for his devastating Metropolitan win but remains a $21 chance according to Ladbrokes in a market that is headed by Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina at $5.
“A day like this almost creates more pressure because you are expected to constantly perform at this level,” Waller said. “You have to remember that this is special and to enjoy it.”
Waller doesn’t remember the hard times when he couldn’t take horses to Melbourne because he couldn’t find boxes.
“At least that is not a problem I have anymore with the stable down,” he said. “I had to leave some in Sydney in the past because I had no boxes.
“They will all go down and be under the same system and we hope they don’t change on the track and we can keep winning our share of races.”
There was a bittersweet moment for the premier trainer when the Epsom photo went in the favour of He’s Your Man over Royal Descent, which has now run second in an Epsom, a Doncaster and two George Main Stakes in the 12 months.
“It is a great result, but I feel for Royal Descent’s connections and for her but we won’t tell her it didn’t win,” Waller said.
“She’s a winner in my eyes and she’s going to get her chance in the Cox Plate. She had a big weight today and it’s a hard thing for a mare to carry and she almost got there.
“Sunline ran fourth in this race and went on to win the Cox Plate.
“The winner could go to a race like the Mackinnon, we know now he is a very good miler and I think he is still doing well in the handicaps and there is a race called the Doncaster next year.”
That says a lot about Waller, he is always thinking about the next target.