Less than four months into the new season, trainer Chris Waller’s Group One tally has reached double figures.
Good Project’s win in Saturday’s Railway Stakes at Ascot in Perth took Sydney’s premier trainer to 10 elite level wins since August.
All have been important but none more so than Winx’s Cox Plate, Waller’s first of the `big three’ of the Melbourne spring.
The mare was devastating in her 4-3/4 length victory over Criterion in the country’s weight-for-age championship last month.
She will be back in the stable early next month to begin preparations for an autumn campaign culminating in Sydney’s richest race, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“She has been spelling really well and is due back in another two weeks,” Waller said.
“The Queen Elizabeth is the obvious aim but we will enter her in the Doncaster and see what weight she gets.”
Winx was originally handicapped on 53kg for the Epsom Handicap but carried 57kg to win after weights were raised when many above her dropped out.
Stablemate, Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal, who copped the brunt of Frankie Dettori’s sudden move on eventual runner-up Max Dynamite in the Melbourne Cup, will be back to defend his title.
But Waller admits he is likely to face stiff competition from within the stable and outside with last week’s announcement prize money will rise to $2 million for the staying feature.
“It’s great for the race and it means the BMW and the Sydney Cup will attract the better horses,” Waller said.
“And not just horses from here but also overseas. They will also come for the BMW so it is very exciting for Sydney.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au