Chris Waller will roll out his autumn team at the barrier trials over the next month with an eye to The Championships and beyond.
Winx may be well on the way to be being mum, but the overall strength of Waller’s team is at its strongest in number of years.
The likes of Kolding, Yes Yes Yes, Nature Strip and Funstar are vying to be become the next outright star of Australian racing. They will get their chance to take the crown in the next couple of months and Waller is liking what he has seen since they returned to the stable.
Waller plans to start barrier-trialling his autumn horses from Thursday at Randwick, where Bondi Stakes winner Kubrick, Reloaded, Shared Ambition and Breeders Plate winner Global Quest will be on show.
The following week Kolding, Kings Will Dream, Danzdanzdance, Night’s Watch and Youngstar will start their campaigns before Everest hero Yes Yes Yes and the flying Nature Strip hit the track at Warwick Farm on January 21.
“We have a new brigade like Funstar, Kolding, Yes Yes Yes, but what I am most excited about is our two-year-olds,” Waller said.
“We have a good crop of two-year-olds but we won’t see them at their best until next year [as three-year-olds]. I feel they are the best crop of two-year-olds I have ever had.
“The Golden Slipper is right up there as one of the races I want to win but it will have to be with a brilliant, ready-made two-year-old. We are not going to change anything with how we train our young horses.”
The key races for his stars are the Lightning Stakes for Nature Strip and the TJ Smith for Yes Yes Yes, with both likely to head to Royal Ascot. Waller is hoping to set Golden Eagle winner Kolding for the All Star Mile in Melbourne, but wants to be secure in the knowledge he will get a run before committing to the $5 million race.
“Kolding is good, he’s an interesting horse as he just keeps getting better,” Waller said. “The best thing about his win in the Golden Eagle was how he won it – he was very explosive.
“I’ve got a slight leaning to the All Star Mile but how do you set a horse for the race if you don’t know he will get a start?
“I think they probably need to give people an indication what wild cards they are going to use. So, unless I have a good indication he is going to get a start in the race, we can stay home and target the Apollo Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes and George Ryder Stakes, which I don’t mind.”
Flight Stakes winner Funstar will wait until next month to trial with the Surround Stakes he likely starting point at Randwick on February 29.