Sydney trainer Chris Waller has moved within one race win of a notching up a century of Sydney winners for the first time.
Waller went into Wednesday’s Warwick Farm meeting on 97 city winners, and moved to 99 after wins to Savannah River (Race One) and Merchandise (Race Five).
“I was a self-confessed good cricketer but I never made 100. I never even looked like getting near it. I was never even stranded in the nervous nineties,” Waller said.
Waller also looks unlikely to be left stranded in the nineties as he still has a month to bring up a winner. But if all goes to plan Waller will notch his maiden ton of winners at Rosehill on Saturday.
Waller will be confident that he can bring up the century on Saturday as he has horses nominated in seven of the eight races.
If Waller doesn’t bring up the century in the first five races of the day he will be confident going into the sixth as he has five of the 14 horses entered in the 2000m Ribs and Roast Handicap. Mikiyama ($6.00) and The Verminator ($6.00) are equal favourites for the race.
Only four trainers have ever trained a century of Sydney winners in a season, and Waller remains self-assured that he will join the elite club sooner rather than later.
“If we don’t do it Saturday, hopefully we’ll do it next Wednesday.” Waller said.
The legendary Tommy Smith was able to train 100 winner in a season an incredible 20 times. With the competitiveness of today’s training premiership it is unlikely that anyone will go past the distinguished TJ.
Gai Waterhouse has matched the achievements of her father on eight occasions while John Hawkes, who now trains a much smaller team, got to 100 wins on seven occasions. Brian Mayfield-Smith is the only other trainer to have trained 100 Sydney winners in a season, and he did that in the 1987/8 season.
Two of Waller’s Wednesday winners were ridden by Kiwi apprentice Jason Collet, who bought up his second metropolitan treble since arriving in Sydney in April.
“If we keep him in Sydney he could win the apprentices title next season,” said Waller.
Waller has what would appear to be an insurmountable lead of 17 ½ races in the Sydney training premiership over Peter Snowden.