Champion trainer Chris Waller says there won’t be the same level of anxiety experienced before Winx’s return to racing when presenting two Group I-winning colts and a crowd favourite at Rosehill this Saturday.
Chris Waller will roll out several of his big guns at Rosehill this Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart
Waller admitted to being more nervous than he has been in recent years before his star mare Winx made a winning return in the Group II Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
With valuable colts Press Statement and Vanbrugh as well as familiar grey mare Catkins set to commence their respective autumn campaigns on Saturday, it would be reasonable to assume that nerves may set in for Waller again.
But the Rosehill-based trainer says the two racedays don’t compare.
“Last Saturday just set a new level for us. I’m just looking forward to it this Saturday,” Waller said.
“There isn’t as much pressure. Our colts, I won’t say their job is done, but they are already Group I winners. Catkins obviously is the stable favourite and always performs well so there is less pressure.”
With all the Hobartville Stakes talk about the favourite Press Statement, Waller believes stablemates Vanburgh and Torgersen have more than earned their place in the $400,000 contest.
“Vanbrugh is a horse I think has come into his own and I think you’ll see him sharper than just a 2000 metre horse this preparation,” Waller said.
“I’m pretty happy with the way he’s come back but it’s a shame he’s drawn so wide on Saturday because that’s going to take away his winning chances. He could be a Doncaster horse.
“Torgersen’s first-up run was inconclusive on the worst part of the track over 1200 metres so I wouldn’t expect him to win but I am expecting him to attack the line and be one to follow over a mile next start.
“Sydney form is strong at any time of the year, as long as its Saturday form, and that’s what he’s coming through.
“You really don’t know with three-year-olds, they can go to a new level in the autumn. That’s what Kermadec basically did last year.”
Catkins takes on six rivals in the Group II Millie Fox Stakes (1300m), a race Waller has won the past four editions of – Catkins last year and Red Tracer three times.
“Catkins has come back well but she’s a hard horse to get a true gauge on because she’s not the best of workers and she’s carrying a bit of condition but she tries her heart out,” Waller said.