The Chris Waller-trained Press Statement gave his trainer a 14th Group I success for the season when proving too good in the $600,000 Group I JJ Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Waller’s 14 for the 2014/15 is the most Group I victories for a trainer in an Australian Racing season since TJ Smith won 20 in 1979/80.
The win was the champion trainer’s second victory in the race after Press Statement’s half-brother Pressday was successful in the 2010 running. Waller also finished second in the final juvenile Group I of the season in the past two years with Zoustar and Brazen Beau.
Press Statement was given his winning ride by Tye Angland, who managed to get his mount into the perfect one out, one back position from barrier 10 in the 12 horse field. The tempo was set by the winner’s stablemates with Feast For Eyes leading Counterattack.
At the top of the straight Angland angled Press Statement out from behind the leaders and he sprinted quickly, shooting clear to score a first Group I win for his sire, freshman stallion Hinchinbrook.
“He’s got great speed and I was lucky enough to be able to slot in behind Counterattack,” Angland told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He gave me a good drag into the straight and when he let down he stretched out really well.
“He’s a little superstar.”
Press Statement ($6.50) defeated the fast-finishing Toby Edmonds-trained Sagaronne ($14) by three-quarters of a length with Clarry Conners filly Look To The Stars ($9), a further 1-1/4 lengths back in third. The $4.40 favourite Bassett encountered traffic problems in the straight and finished fifth.
“He only won (in Sydney) last Saturday and to get on a truck, come up here, race in Group I company – he’s a pretty special horse,” Waller said. “Only special horses can do it so he’s one of them.”
Press Statement is expected to now be targeted at the Group I Golden Rose (1400m) in September.
The win was also Angland’s third Group I win of the season and his second for Waller after also claiming the Group I Metropolitan with Opinion after Junoob lost the race due to a positive to Lasix. His other Group I victory was aboard Gust Of Wind in the Australian Oaks.
“It definitely means a lot to get a nice Group I win for Chris, that’s for sure,” he said. “He’s been a big supporter of mine since I returned from Hong Kong.”