Foreteller may be the shortest priced of the Chris Waller-trained stablemates in this Saturday’s Hollindale Stakes 2013 on the Gold Coast but it is veteran of the group Danleigh who the trainer’s racing manager Liam Prior is tipping.
Waller is gearing up for a big day on the Gold Coast this weekend saddling up three from his Sydney stables in the $358,000 Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) – a nice lead-up for gallopers heading towards the 2013 Doomben Cup.
Current Hollindale Stakes odds are led by Peter Moody’s smart mare Lights Of Heaven, third in last year’s Caulfield Cup, who pays $3 to kick off her Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign with a win.
Occupying the second line of Hollindale Stakes betting is the close $3.20 second elect Foreteller, Waller’s Ranvet Stakes champ last seen running a good fifth in The BMW over the mile and a half at Rosehill.
“Chris has done a great job keeping him up,” Prior said of Foreteller who has been racing consistently since January.
“(He) will be at his top again on Saturday.”
While the step back to 1800m should see the French import sharp and ready to strike, Foreteller having won their last start over the distance in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield in February where they beat Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet, they are not the one Prior has rated special to win.
That title belongs to $11 chance Danleigh, the evergreen veteran after their first win since September last year.
A four-time Group 1 winner and $2.5 million earner, nine-year-old Danleigh has had 61 starts over his illustrious career to date but surprisingly has never raced over further than a mile.
That will change on Saturday and despite not having seen the distance, Prior believes they can step up to the 1800m after the good last start fifth in the Doncaster Mile.
“I know we haven’t seen Danleigh over this trip before, he’s always been a sprinter/miler but his runs lately have indicated he’s looking for this distance and he’s the proven weight-for-age runner in the field and that’s what often counts in these contests,” Prior said.
“For mine, if Danleigh stays the 1800 metres he looks our best chance this Saturday.
“I might be going with my heart a little bit.”
Before the Doncaster Danleigh was seventh to Pierro in the George Ryder Stakes when beaten by only one and a half lengths, and third to stablemate Shoot Out crossing half a length off them in the Chipping Norton Stakes – excellent form for a horse whose age is nearing double digits.
“He’s a stalwart. You don’t get horses like him coming around very often,” Prior said.
“He was beaten three lengths in the Doncaster last start and was 1-1/2 lengths off Pierro at weight-for-age the start before that.
“He was narrowly beaten in a Group I race as a two-year-old, won one at eight and is clearly still competitive.
“He mightn’t be a dominator but his longevity is a rarity these days.”
Waller’s third Hollindale Stakes hopeful is then the early market mover Stout Hearted ($12) who has come up trumps with barrier two with Nathan Berry to ride.
The Dynaformer gelding hasn’t been in the most exciting form this prep, their last start being a sixth to Skyerush in the Doncaster Prelude, but they are tipped to improve as they get up in distance.
“I thought Stout Hearted’s effort second-up was a huge improvement on what he did when resuming,” Prior said.
“If he can improve again he could find himself being competitive at weight-for-age.”
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