Chris Waller is happy with the progress of his progressive four-year-old Kelinni this season but knows they have to win the Colin Stephen Quality at Rosehill this weekend to earn a start in Saturday week’s The Metropolitan 2012.
Refuse To Bend gelding Kelinni, a European import that joined Waller’s Sydney stalbes at the end of 2010, has won six of their 15 career starts to date only just stepping up to black type company last start.
After back-to-back wins over 2200m at Warwick Farm in August Waller took them to Wyong on September 7 where they ran a credible fourth beaten under a length by Julienas in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m).
Saturday they will face another class rise when they again face off against the Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas in the $125,000 Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) which runs as Rosehill Race 6 at 4:00pm.
Kelinni is currently the $4 co-favourite to take out the Colin Stephen along with Julienas with another Waterhouse-trained galloper dominating the markets – Strawberry Boy odds-on at $1.70.
The distance of the Colin Stephen holds no fears for Kelinni who has winning form up to 2500m but they do need the victory to be backed up in the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap over the mile and a half at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 6.
“He would have to win well on Saturday,” Waller said.
“If he was going to be placed in the Metrop he would have to win that race well.”
In the current The Metropolitan odds Kelinni pays $31, a price that is sure to be slashed should they upset $11 The Metropolitan chance Strawberry Boy on Saturday.
They race on Saturday having missed out on the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) last Thursday when Waller, not 100 percent happy with them then, withdrew them – the race subsequently won by Glencadam Gold who is now the $5.50 second favourite for The Metropolitan behind Lamasery ($5).
“He wasn’t 100 per cent so he didn’t go to Newcastle but he’s since worked very well,” Waller said.
“It looks like a nice race for him on Saturday. The distance will be no problem at all and he’s got form around all the right horses.”
Waller already has a strong contingent going into The Metropolitan 2012 with recent Kingston Town Stakes winner Stout Hearted ($15), consistent six-year-old Permit ($15) and last year’s The Metropolitan winner The Verminator ($31) all engaged.
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