Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller will saddle-up two very different chances in the 2015 Doomben 10,000 this weekend in Brisbane, the master horseman shooting for his first win in the weight-for-age classic.
Waller has excellent form in Queensland during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival but the $750,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m) is one race he is yet to secure a win in.
There are currently 22 official first acceptors for the Doomben 10,000, the field for which is due out on Wednesday, and two of those are Waller-trained stablemates who he plans to final acceptances for.
Waller has his returning five-year-old Boban as well in-form German import Flamingo Star who is yet to race down under both heading towards Saturday’s Group 1 at Doomben Racecourse.
It has been a long time between drinks for Waller’ Bernardini gelding Boban, a $17 shot in the current pre-field Doomben 10,000 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who hasn’t won a race since the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm in March last year.
Since then his form has been more miss than hit, including his latest effort which was a failed 14th of 15 runners when unsuccessfully defending his Chipping Norton title this February.
Boban’s first-up record is only fair too (7-1-0-0) but in Brisbane at Doomben he has enjoyed a win and a second from three previous starts at the track, his latest however been a second in the 2013 Fred Best Classic two years ago.
He warmed up for his third consecutive winter bid with a nice barrier trial win though at Warwick Farm on May 11 over 1200m, which bodes well for improved form upon his return this time in, as he targets the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6.
“We backed off in the autumn to set him specifically for this and possibly the Stradbroke,” Waller’s Racing Manager Liam Prior told The Courier Mail.
“His trial win was probably better than it looked visually and Glyn (Schofield) is very happy with him. If he gets close to his best form, he would be very hard to beat.”
Five-year-old Areion stallion Flamingo Star meanwhile has won four of his 16 starts to date, the latest of which was in a Group 3 over the mile in France late last October.
He’s trialled twice down under since then, including a third behind Rose Of Choice over 1050m at Randwick on May 8, and pays $21 to win the Doomben 10,000 on debut in Australia this weekend.
Prior said the horse would have a light winter campaign and be bought back for a more testing spring preparation, as has always been the plan.
“He arrived in Australia in February and landed in our stable in March,” Prior said.
“It was always the plan to give him a light preparation now and then set him for the spring.
“It’s hard to get a line on him. He hasn’t shown a lot of speed in his two trials, but he does have plenty of class.”
Prior said Flamingo Star’s best form line for the Aussie punters to recognise was his win over subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in November of 2012.
“He actually beat Protectionist when he won his maiden in Germany,” Prior added.
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