Chris Waller celebrated another Group 1 quinella taking out the Epsom Handicap 2014 with French import He’s Your Man who just nabbed honest stable mate and one-time favourite Royal Descent in the Randwick feature today.
Waller won last year’s $500,000 Group 1 The Star Epsom (1600m) with Boban and was back with four chances in the 2014 edition of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival’s premier mile event.
It was a devastatingly close Epsom Handicap result that went down to a photo finish between the two in-form and well-backed stablemates.
He’s Your Man was wide throughout but had a trail while Royal Descent was settled just off the speed.
On the straight Royal Descent exploded and looked like she was home with He’s Your Man coming down the outside.
On the line however Cape Cross five-year-old He’s Your Man ($6) and ‘Magic Man’ Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira, who enjoyed his third win of the day, got the bob of the head to beat perennial runner-up Royal Descent ($6.50), ridden by Hugh Bowman, by the barest of margins.
In a very nice third finishing off the Epsom Handicap trifecta was then the John Thompson-trained Hooked ($17) who had to cover lots more ground out wide before finishing strongly in a sensational job.
“It feels great,” Moreira, who proved to be the star of the day, said post-win.
“It’s special for this horse and we’ve done it.
“Really, really special I’ve chased a Group 1 win in Australia for probably four or five years so that means a lot to me.”
Waller made the decision after He’s Your Man won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) last start on September 13 to bring him back down to the 1600m for the Epsom Handicap as opposed to stepping him up to the mile and a half for the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) also run at Randwick today.
“We got it right today,” Waller said, holding back tears.
It’s a formula he’s used with lots of success many times and it again proved the winning move today.
As always Redoute’s Choice mare Royal Descent was brave in defeat crossing second for the fourth straight time this season including behind stable mate Sacred Falls in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 20.
“Both horses ran really well,” Waller said.
He was also quick to credit the work of Moreira.
“I’ve always maintained you’ve got to use the jockeys that are in form,” he said.
“And there was some great jockeys to choose from.
“I love the fact he’d been in Australia before…he had that experience.”
Waller is confident Royal Descent can now shrug her second placegetter status finally this campaign and is hoping that happens on October 25 at Moonee Valley in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“Very good,” was how he summed up her Epsom run.
“Hopefully it’s the Cox Plate (next).”
A weight-for-age run could also be on the cards for his Epsom Handicap winner He’s Your Man next start with the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day, November 1, at Flemington springing to mind.
“Probably the Mackinnon springs to mind,” Waller said.
“Four weeks between runs. We’ve spaced his runs successfully in the past.
“Sure it’s weight-for-age but he could do it.”
Earlier today Waller also confirmed the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes was the likely next up target for his Craven Plate winner Moriarty if he didn’t go into the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
The options are wide open for He’s Your Man however with Waller also indicating that he could head down the same post-Epsom path as last year’s winner Boban who won the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day before also winning the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington at the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
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2014 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 04/10/2014
|1||6||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||–||10||52.5kg||$5.50|
|2||2||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0.1L||11||55.5kg||$6.50|
|3||8||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Sam Clipperton||1.6L||14||52kg||$17|
|4||9||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Chris Munce||1.7L||9||52kg||$10|
|5||7||HONORIUS||David Payne||Ms Winona Costin (a)||1.8L||6||52.5kg||$101|
|6||13||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||1.9L||3||52kg||$41|
|7||12||LIBERTY’S CHOICE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||3.2L||5||52kg||$21|
|8||14||WOODBINE||Gai Waterhouse||Christian Reith||3.3L||13||52kg||$18|
|9||1||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4.1L||1||58kg||$6.50|
|10||5||STAR ROLLING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Ms Linda Meech||4.7L||2||53kg||$16|
|11||10||LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jeff Lloyd||4.9L||4||52kg||$41|
|12||15||SPY DECODER (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Jay Ford||5.5L||15||52kg||$71|
|13||11||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Anthony Allen||5.7L||7||52kg||$61|
|14||3||TOYDINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||5.8L||8||55.5kg||$5F|
|15||4||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||6.4L||12||53.5kg||$10|