Chris Waller has been a regular feature in Australian Group racing over the last few years but one race he’s never been seen in is the Melbourne Cup.
It’s been a glaring omission on the otherwise brilliant resume he’s managed to put together since arriving here from New Zealand.
That will change this year though with Waller providing two entries to the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
By his own admission they are rough chances at best but the fact he’s made it there at least gives himself a shot at winning the race the stops the nation.
Waller’s two horses are Hawk Island and The Verminator.
Hawk Island is rated as a $101 chance but surprisingly is probably the slightly favoured option from The Verminator, although he has come in now to join Hawk Island on the $101 quote.
Obviously Waller is up against it to claim a Melbourne Cup victory in his maiden attempt and earlier in the week he admitted he would be content with a top 10 finish.
That being said he could be underselling himself slightly and if a few things go his horses way they could threaten the placings.
For Hawk Island the key is the track, if the weather man were to get it wrong and the rain opened above Flemington in the next few days you could see his quote easily half.
He’s an absolute wet track specialist and with every track down grade that glimmer of hope in the Waller camp gets that little bit bigger.
As for The Verminator, he holds the welcome title of having won the most races this year of any Melbourne Cup runner.
That shows he is a solid type but whether or not he runs out the full two miles at this level is the question.
He won the Metropolitan after many had written him off but it’s tough to have him after he failed to figure in the Mackinnon Stakes yesterday.
That said, if the short back up clicks him into gear and he can settle better in running, this horse has the power to surprise.
At the end of the day then the chances of a Chris Waller win in the 2011 Melbourne Cup are remote, but that doesn’t mean they’re no existent.
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