Waller’s Weary 2014 Epsom Handicap Hope

The trainer all connections in Sydney are flocking to right now, Kiwi expat Chris Waller is gearing up for another dominant season including with Weary who is being set for an Epsom Handicap 2014 assignment.


Weary will target the 2014 Epsom Handicap as their first Group 1 spring assignment. Photo: Steve Hart.

The imported French grey trials along with a host of other Sydney Spring Racing Carnival hopefuls at Randwick this morning, Weary making their first public appearance since April 26.

There the Astronomer Royal gelding capped off a stellar autumn running second to Japanese mare Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) after coming from the back of the field to run top two.

That followed the four-year-olds’ third behind stablemates Sacred Falls and Royal Descent when Waller prepared the trifecta in this year’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).

Their Doncaster effort in the mud was a particularly brave won as they suffered lacerations to their near hind fetlock during the run and raced four wide throughout.

Waller has big spring ambitions then for the promising galloper previously prepared in France by Harry Dunlop.

He’s looking at a first-up run in the $175,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 9 and has them set for a similar preparation as Boban from last spring.

Boban went second-up into the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) in September before carrying just 53kg to a tight victory over star mare Streama in the Epsom.

They then went to Melbourne for a Group 3 Moonga Stakes win at Caulfield 14 days later and then another narrow Group 1 success in Flemington’s Emirates Stakes over the mile during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), held this year on October 4, is also the current aim for Weary who will have an easy trial this morning.

“Like all of my triallers, they just go for a float ride, stretch their legs and come back safely,” Waller told Racing Victoria on Thursday.

“A midfield-to-last (finish) is probably realistic, but be assured, second or third-up he’ll be ready to win some nice races.”

While Waller would love to then take them to Victoria for the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8, he is wary of them getting out-weighted for the feature.

If that becomes the case he will readjust their targets.

Plan B is to take them down a weight-for-age path and race in the $200,000 Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day (October 25) or the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day (November 1).

“We’ll take a similar path to what we took with Boban last year, he should still be suited by handicap, so why not take the handicap route,” Waller said.

“That enables me to separate horses like Sacred Falls, who’s proven, and Weary, who’s getting there but still has a lower handicap rating.

“He’s a bit different to Boban. Boban won the Epsom and then went close to being the topweight, if not the topweight in the Emirates, whereas Weary will probably be higher weight in the Epsom and probably be too highly-rated if he happened to win it.

“He’ll get to Melbourne, but maybe it’s for a Crystal Mile or a Mackinnon.”

Stay tuned to Races.com.au to see how Weary travels this spring.

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