Chris Waller’s quality colt Press Statement will be given the chance to complete the same double Shooting To Win enjoyed last spring after toying with his rivals in the Stan Fox Stakes in Sydney on way to the Caulfield Guineas 2015 next month in Melbourne.
Twelve months ago the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Shooting To Win (2014) took out the Stan Fox before heading to Victoria to also salute in the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile.
The Caulfield Guineas this year runs on October 10 and is the confirmed target for Waller’s star Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement who enjoyed an all-too-easy two and a half length victory in this weekend’s $200,000 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Guineas.
Already a proven Group 1 winner over 1600m, Press Statement celebrated his first win since taking out the JJ Atkins in Brisbane during the winter as a two-year-old.
He had two unlucky runs this time in when runner-up to Exosphere in both the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) and the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at the same track he returned to for the Stan Fox with Tye Angland in the saddle.
Waller was quick to take the blame for those two beaten runs and he didn’t hold Angland at fault despite putting Hugh Bowman on the up-and-comer’s back for the Stan Fox.
“Tye will get back on (the horse), don’t worry about that,” Waller said post-win, explaining he had used the Stan Fox to clarify how good Press Statement was really going after being “confused after his last start.”
“Hugie’s done a good job today,” Waller added.
“It was good to see. Things panned out today and the small field helped.
“He just got into a nice rhythm, which just didn’t happen last start.”
Bowman gave Press Statement a patient and beautifully timed ride, allowing the horse to settle one off the fence in fourth as the Team Hawkes-trained Street Cry colt Rageese backed up from a Golden Rose fourth up front leading them around.
Bruce Hill’s Queensland visitor Winning Accord, chasing his third straight win, ran second while the John O’Shea-trained Shards punched through on the rails in third.
As they rounded the home turn in the Stan Fox Bowman wasn’t rushed to get Press Statement ($1.35F) up front straight away, instead allowing the horse to roll along until the 300m mark when he moved up to join Rageese ($6.50) with Shards ($9.50) in between the two.
By the 200m Press Statement had the uncontested lead and in drew clear to win running away over the final 100m in the perfect Caulfield Guineas lead-up with an easy win over Shards while Rageese held for third.
Before the Stan Fox Stakes result Press Statement was already leading futures Caulfield Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at a firm quote of $3.50.
Second favourite in those markets at $4 was the Mick Price-trained Ready For Victory who runs in Melbourne today in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
Waller admitted it was a risk keeping Press Statement in Sydney and not give him a run the other way of going in a lead-up like the Prelude before tacking the Guineas, but that he needed to get the galloper’s confidence up.
“He’s only had six starts today, so he’s had four wins and two unlucky runs,” Waller said.
“We go to Melbourne with a bit of confidence now.
“We’ve kept him at home to get that confidence back.
“We’ve risked not running left-handed but he’s a very adaptable horse.
“I’m sure we’ll be prepared enough to represent New South Wales in the Caulfield Guineas.”
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2015 Stan Fox Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 2 – 26/09/2015
|1||1||PRESS STATEMENT||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||2||56.5kg||$1.30F|
|2||3||SHARDS||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||3L||1||56.5kg||$9|
|3||2||RAGEESE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4.3L||5||56.5kg||$6|
|4||6||FIREWORKS||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||5.6L||6||54.5kg||$26|
|5||5||MAN OF HIS WORD||Bruce W Hill||Kelvin Wharton||5.8L||4||56.5kg||$26|
|6||4||WINNING ACCORD||Bruce W Hill||Matthew McGuren||11.2L||3||56.5kg||$101|