Winter Challenge 2016 likely for Waller import

Auckland Cup placegetter Sacred Master will make his first Australian appearance in the Winter Challenge at Rosehill.

The gelding will be one of four entries for premier trainer Chris Waller in Saturday’s $150,000 Listed race at Rosehill, the final stakes race in Sydney for the season.

Marenostro, She’s Clean and Tales Of Grimm complete the stable’s line-up.

“Sacred Master will obviously be better over further than the 1500 metres on Saturday because he was placed in an Auckland Cup over 3200,” Waller said.

“Once he gets up to 2000 metres and beyond we will see the best of him but he needs to start somewhere.

“He’s had a barrier trial and he’s ready to go to the races.

“She’s Clean will go to stud this year.

“She hasn’t been beaten far in Melbourne but was starting to get too much weight so it would be nice to get another win with her.”

After harbouring thoughts Marenostro could be an Epsom Handicap contender, Waller has revised his opinion.

“I think he might be just below Group One company so we’ll try to get a lesser race with him,” he said.

“He is probably best at a mile (1600m) but this race suits. Tales Of Grimm had no chance the way his last race was run so we will try riding him closer this time.

A Group Three winner, She’s Clean has had her past three starts in Melbourne with her best effort a close third in a 1400m handicap behind Jacquinot Bay.

Tales Of Grimm won the Listed Spear Chief Stakes at Doomben last month but finished eighth in the Winter Stakes in which Marenostro was fourth.

Sacred Master won the Group Two Avondale Cup before his Auckland Cup placing and has six wins from his 13 starts.

With two meetings left this season, Waller needs four winners to pass his record 167-1/2 Sydney wins in the 2012/13 season.

He has also won 15 Group One races this season, headed by Winx’s Cox Plate and Doncaster Mile.

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