Sydney’s irrefutable premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has big spring plans this year, the former Kiwi-based horseman set to branch out and vie for the Melbourne Spring Carnival Group 1’s with his contingent of top gallopers including My Kingdom Of Fife.
Although awaiting the official crowning, Waller has the Sydney Trainers Premiership in the bag hanging on to an impossible-to-run-down lead of 25 ½ wins over Peter Snowden.
As is his dedication to the game, Waller isn’t sitting back and celebrating the successful 2010-11 season but instead is already planning an ambitious interstate assault for the spring.
“Winning the Sydney premiership is something that has driven me for some time and I am honoured to be able to achieve it,” Waller said.
“We now know that the systems we have in place work.
“It has been a huge team effort to get to this position but we aren’t going to just sit and celebrate – the new season starts next week.”
In previous years, Waller has chosen to focus on the thoroughbred majors in Sydney and has enjoyed great success taking out races including the 2010 Doncaster Handicap with Rangirangdoo, 2010 TJ Smith Stakes with Pressday and the 2010 George Ryder Stakes with Danleigh.
He has seen Group 1 glory in Melbourne as well though, Danleigh also taking out the 2010 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, but expressed a desire to be a more dominant player in Victoria this season.
“Travelling more horses interstate is one thing that I will aim to do different for next season,” Waller said.
“It is something that I will have to take on personally, physically spending more time away from the Sydney base and targeting the big carnivals.
“To try and really give ourselves the best chance of taking the good horses to the next level and winning the big races.
“Take a horse like My Kingdom Of Fife, for example.
“In the past I would have just concentrated on races in our backyard, stick to what we know and perform in Sydney.
“I will probably only give him one run in Sydney and then head straight to Melbourne for the major prizes.”
Kingmambo gelding My Kingdom Of Fife emerged as a star among Waller’s Rosehill-based stables during the autumn.
Purchased from the Queen of England as a tried horse, My Kingdom Of Fife claimed a boilover on debut for Waller in Australia winning the Group 3 Doncaster Mile Prelude (1600m) at Randwick in April as a $150 roughie.
They went on to post two more back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (200m) at the Royal Randwick and then the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast in May.
Last start the unbeaten run down under ended when My Kingdom Of Fife was narrowly defeated by Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m).
It is expected Waller will nominate the champion for all the major staying showdowns next season including the 2011 Caulfield Cup, 2011 Cox Plate and even the iconic 2011 Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington.
Waller hopes My Kingdom Of Fife won’t be the only spring star for the stable, the trainer naming a number of other horses he believes will play a big role.
“Other horses like Startreusse and Velrosso are ones that come to mind that could be competitive at the carnivals,” he said.
“I’ve got some nice emerging three-year-olds and a few yearlings showing promise.”
While Waller will focus on the Melbourne Carnival, his newly installed foreman Peter Muscott will take over the reigns in Sydney.
Waller has full confidence in Muscott and believes they will continue to dominate with local winners in Sydney especially with the new plan to spread runners across more races instead of having a stranglehold in a single race.
“We will look to place horses to their advantage and try not to clash as much as we have this season,” Waller, who was known to have four and more horses in a single race many times during the past season, said.
“Finding a horse’s grade quickly is vital because then you can target particular races.
“Winning Sydney metropolitan races will still be my priority, we have terrific prizemoney here, $70,000 a race on Saturdays with $42,000 to the winner is a lot of money.
“It will be fantastic if we can win the court case (Race Fields Legislation) and race for $100,000.”