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Chris Waller has confirmed first-up plans to run his smart colt Kermadec this weekend in Sydney’s Warwick Stakes 2015 with the Doncaster Mile winner heading towards the Epsom Handicap in early October.
The four-year-old Teofilo stallion hasn’t raced since boosting his prize money up over $2.2 million with a victory in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick in early April during Sydney’s The Championships.
That followed a strong autumn campaign from the then three-year-old who also finished fourth to Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington and ran third behind Japan’s Real Impact in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
This Saturday Kermadec returns at Randwick Racecourse contesting the day’s feature race – the $175,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) under weight-for-age conditions.
He runs first-up in the race on the back of a sixth to Golden Slipper winner Vancouver in an 840m trial at the track from July 31, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Vancouver having returned in last Saturday’s Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) when fourth behind the Waller-trained Japonisme.
On Saturday Kermadec was also put through his paces in a smart exhibition gallop at Rosehill with jockey Tye Angland suitably impresses with how the horse felt.
“I felt like I drove a Ferrari around,” he told Racenet after partnering Kermadec over 1000m, which the galloper completed in 1.02.8 including his final 600m sectional in 35.25 seconds.
Waller was also pleased with the work and was looking forward to the Warwick Stakes this weekend where Glen Boss has the ride.
“A pretty solid workout for one of mine,” Waller said.
“That will have him sharp enough first-up on Saturday.”
Waller will dominate this year’s Warwick Stakes field numbers wise with a total of eight runners in the feature.
His other hopefuls include Group 1 winners Royal Descent, Hawkspur, Foreteller, Who Shot Thebarman, Grand Marshall, Preferment and Weary.
“They have to start somewhere,” Waller said.
“Silverball and Junoob could have run in it too because I’d like to keep them on a weight-for-age path.”
Kermadec’s first major target this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival is most likely to be the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 19 over the Randwick mile.
“At home a race like the George Main is always logical,” he said. “It will probably be his third-up run after the Chelmsford.”
The $175,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) runs on September 5, also at Randwick.
While there’s a chance Kermadec could run in the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) back at Randwick on October 3, Waller considering keeping the youngster at home for the race due to the boost in prize money by the Australian Turf Club (ATC), the master trainer also hadn’t ruled out an early trip to Melbourne.
“He’s ready to go to Melbourne any time he needs to,” he said.
“If a race like the Makybe Diva is a bit weaker, or the Underwood, he can go down.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) runs at Flemington on September 12 followed by the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.
If Kermadec does go to the Epsom, Waller will be shooting for his third straight win in the race following the success of Boban (2013) and He’s Your Man (2014).
Waller also said there was a chance of a $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) run at Moonee Valley on October 24 for the progressive young gun, although he was “not sure” if Kermadec would go all the way to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
“That’s why it’s important to get that Group I at the start of a prep and then the rest of it unfolds,” he said.
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