Chris Waller will have the favourites in three Group One races this weekend and has been racking up the miles to oversee his two-state team.
After watching Preferment defeat stablemate Royal Descent in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on Sunday, the trainer returned to Sydney for racing at Warwick Farm the following day.
He was back in Melbourne for track work at Caulfield on Tuesday to watch Press Statement and Kermadec work before their important assignments at the track on Saturday.
Neither have run at Caulfield and Waller took the opportunity to give the pair a look at the course.
Press Statement is the $2.40 favourite for the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) while Kermadec is the $3 favourite to take out the Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
In Sydney, the Waller stable will send out Vanbrugh in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick, the final Group One race of the Sydney spring.
Press Statement’s four victories have all been in the clockwise direction in Sydney and Brisbane, but Waller said he had so far adapted to the opposite way.
“We do quite a bit of work in Sydney left-handed,” Waller said.
“He would have had three gallops in Sydney before he came down this preparation left-handed.
“He had one at Flemington on Saturday and we brought him here to get him a little bit familiar.”
Waller said Press Statement and Kermadec were both relaxed in the raceday stalls and hoped that stood them in good stead for Saturday.
He said the trip away from Flemington was designed to stop the pair becoming agitated on raceday, a ploy he used with Winx before her Epsom success on Saturday.
Waller describes Press Statement as having the X-factor.
“I find the good horses are pretty cool, calm and collected and he’s exactly that, he said.
Waller says Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes is an ideal lead-in to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 24 for Kermadec who he believes can now be regarded as a genuine weight-for-age horse after his George Main Stakes win at Randwick on September 19.
“That was D-day. He needed to be winning to suggest he’s a weight-for-age horse, Waller said.
“This is an ideal stepping stone for the big race in two weeks time.”