Chris Waller will aim to tighten his stranglehold on the Epsom Handicap when he saddles up four live chances.
While McCreery is the most fancied of the quartet, Sydney’s premier trainer can make a case for Mackintosh, Vanbrugh and Torgersen to win Saturday’s $1 million Group One race over the famous Randwick mile.
Waller has a remarkable 13 of 34 runners in Saturday’s Group One races in Sydney, including almost a third of the 13-horse Epsom Handicap field as he looks for his fourth consecutive win in the race.
He said Torgersen had followed a similar path to 2013 winner Boban, who the stable set as a light weight chance.
He said Torgersen ran brilliantly in the Bill Ritchie Handicap, the same race Boban used as a springboard to the Epsom.
“Torgersen was three wide, he had no luck and only got beaten a small margin,” Waller said.
In the event of a dry track Vanbrugh may be the stable’s forgotten runner, with Craig Newitt coming from Melbourne to ride him at 51kg.
“Vanbrugh gets into the race pretty well considering he’s a Group One-winning colt,” Waller said.
“He’s a pretty underestimated horse going back to his run in the Australian Guineas over the mile he was the eye-catcher.”
Vanbrugh is at $18 while Torgesen is a $23 chance.
McCreery is $6 equal second favourite with Darren Weir-trained Palentino.
He comes into the race after winning the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in his last appearance.
“We’ve backed off his workload to keep him nice and fresh,”
“He’s been racing over 2000 metres so he’s just done maintenance work and as a result he’s jumping out of his skin.
“He’s bright and happy.”
Waller said Mackintosh had an exhibition gallop at Rosehill on Saturday to mentally stimulate the horse between his Group Two Theo Marks Stakes win and the Epsom.
The New Zealand import is at $11 to take his record to seven wins from 10 starts .
“I think people might be underestimating him a little bit,” Waller said.
“If you forget his Derby run in Queensland his form is just impeccable.”
He said Mackintosh had caught the stable off guard in the past with how well he had performed.
“You wouldn’t have a bet on him on trials or trackwork but he just turns on race day,” Waller said.
Godolphin’s Hauraki is the $5.50 favourite after a creditable second behind Winx in the George Main Stakes.
“If he’s every going to win a Group One, this will be it,” Hauraki’s trainer John O’Shea said.
“It’s a very open, very competitive field, but there’s been a lot of merit in his last two runs.”
Waller said with the exception of McCreery, his runners had been prepared to have enough in the tank to travel to Melbourne.
But if McCreery finishes in the top three he will join the southern mission.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au