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Chris Waller is gearing up for a massive new racing season targeting a plethora of Group 1 races during both the Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2012, the Sydney premiership leading trainer especially excited about his Cox Plate chances with My Kingdom Of Fife.
The European import was one of the stars for Waller during the autumn last year winning their opening three starts for their new trainer including a Group 1 victory when carrying 59kg to beat home Sacred Choice in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in the wet at Randwick.
The now seven-year-old Kingmambo gelding was last seen winning the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) on October 1 last year, My Kingdom Of Fife having missed the entire spring carnival due to a hoof injury.
Having made a full recovery Waller named the $3 million Group 1 Tatt’s Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 as My Kingdom Of Fife’s spring ‘grand final’.
“My Kingdom Of Fife has now had six starts in Australia for four wins and two seconds,” Waller said.
“It didn’t look like he beat much at the time, but as time has gone on the form has looked good.
“He’ll be set on the Cox Plate trail, but he’d need to win a semi-final two weeks beforehand to get a crack at the ‘grand final’”
While My Kingdom Of Fife is still a little way from a return one of Waller’s other spring hopefuls will resume this Saturday with Refuse To Bend four-year-old Kelinni racing in a 1400-metre benchmark 80 handicap.
“A horse named Kellini is one (heading towards the spring) and he’s first-up on Saturday at Rosehill,” Waller said.
Last seen running away to a big win over 2500-metres at Randwick on April 1, Kelinni is being prepared for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day Saturday October 6 during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
“He’s a bread-and-butter horse who will go through the grades and hopefully ends up in The Metropolitan,” Waller, who will be seeking successive Metropolitan Handicap wins following the success of The Verminator last spring, said.
“Last preparation I thought he was really impressive winning over the 2500-metres.”
Two other horses Waller was quick to name as genuine spring hopes were his Randwick Guineas runner-up Said Com and untapped Fastnet Rock filly Jade Marauder who ran second last in the Golden Slipper.
“Said Com is your typical New Zealand- bred horse who is still improving,” he said.
“He was beaten by Mosheen in the Randwick Guineas and will be aimed at the Epsom Handicap.
“Jade Marauder was immature but still won a race (the Group 3 Sweet Embrace) as a two-year-old in the lead-up to the Golden Slipper.
“I think she’s a nice horse and will be a contender for the three-year-old fillies races, including the Flight Stakes.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) runs at Randwick on October 6 as does the $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
Then there’s old stable favourite Rangirangdoo.
The injury-prone dual Group 1 winning Pentire seven-year-old had their last run at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day finishing a brave fourth to glamour mare More Joyous in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) capping off an unlucky campaign that saw them narrowly miss out on a third Group 1 victory when nosed out in the final stride by Manighar in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) earlier at Rosehill.
“This is the first time he’s gone to the paddock without any problems,” Waller said.
“He probably should have won the Ranvet Stakes last preparation, and carried a big weight (58kg) in the Doncaster (when 10th to More Joyous).”
Waller named the $125,000 Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) on Epsom Day as a starting point for the popular veteran before a likely trip to Melbourne with My Kingdom Of Fife.
“The Craven Plate will be a race I target with him,” he said.
“That would be the sort of race that would do wonders for his confidence – Group Three, over 2000m and weight-for-age.
“After that, we’ll look at Melbourne for him and a horse like My Kingdom Of Fife.”
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