Successful Sydney trainer Chris Waller has named both the Epsom Handicap and the Cox Plate as Group 1 aims for star colt Pressday this spring racing season before the talented galloper retires to serve at stud next year.
Rising Domesday four-year-old Pressday is a recent acquisition of Eliza Park Stud in Victoria’s north east, the multiple Group winner set to stand for them from 2012.
“Pressday will be in Eliza Park’s colours and race on this season,” Waller confirmed.
Pressday ran for the first time in the Eliza Park colours in a Rosehill barrier trial on Friday where the current $846,400 earner finished fourth to the fellow Waller-trained winner Snow Alert over 1030 metres.
Formerly part-owned by trainer Waller, to date Pressday has had 11 career starts for five wins and a minor placing including one victory at elite level.
Following back-to-back Group 2 wins during last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival in the Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben and the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm, Pressday went on to post a Group 1 win and increase his value as a stallion in the 2010 TJ Smith over the mile.
After rearing at the start of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day last spring, Pressday ruined his chance of adding a second elite level victory to his name, only managing to finish eight lengths away 11th to winner Star Witness.
Next start they returned to form to secure the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) before being sent for a brief spell.
Bought back in February, Pressday was unable to return to his former form and finished out of the money in his three summer – autumn runs this year.
Most recently Pressday came within three lengths of Ilovethiscity when fifth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 12.
Continuing under Waller’s preparation, Pressday will next embark on an ambitious spring campaign in an attempt to increase his stallion value.
“He is being aimed at the Epsom Handicap and the Cox Plate,” Waller said.
“He has matured a lot mentally which will help him.
“I’m very pleased with how he has come back.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) will run at Randwick on October 1 during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival while the esteemed $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is held at Moonee Valley on October 22 as one of the major Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival features.