Counterattack Keeps Blinkers in 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes

This Saturday at Flemington Racecourse last weekend’s Cox Plate winning trainer Chris Waller will saddle-up two Coolmore Stud Stakes 2015 hopes including Counterattack who is a “different horse” with the blinkers on.

Counterattack

Counterattack is one of two Chris Waller-trained 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes hopes for Saturday and has the blinkers staying on for the Flemington feature. Photo: Steve Hart.

Sydney’s premier trainer and now 54-time Group 1 winning horseman, Waller has won the past two editions of the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day.

He is back this Melbourne Cup Carnival with stablemates Counterattack and Japonisme who are there perhaps only to run second behind the odds-on favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au – who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the classic this weekend – Exosphere.

The bookies have the Coolmore Stud Stakes shaping up as a one horse affair this season with the John O’Shea-trained Golden Rose winning Lonhro colt Exosphere as short as $1.40 in pre-field Coolmore Stud Stakes betting.

Godolphin’s very valuable stallion prospect may be unraced in Melbourne, but after an all-too-easy three and a quarter length win in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) last time out he is definitely the youngster to beat in Saturday’s Group 1.

“I was blown away with Exopshere at Randwick,” rival trainer Waller told Racenet this week.

“Early in the season it was Vancouver that was going to dominate the three-year-old races. Things change. Anything can happen.”

Waller’s back-to-back Coolmore Stud Stakes winners Zoustar (2013) and Brazen Beau (2014) both came off wins in the Roman Consul Stakes, so the form is there to be franked again this season by Exosphere who is looking to become the seventh favourite in 11 years to salute for the punters.

Counterattack is rated a $13 chance in the futures Coolmore Stud Stakes betting markets, the Redoute’s Choice colt having won two of his three most recent runs all in Sydney.

He was fifth past the post from the inside alley behind Exosphere in the Roman Consul Stakes before winning the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) on October 17, a race Kuro won before his third in last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes.

The improver donned the blinkers that day and Waller keeps them on for his Group 1 test, his first since a seventh to stablemate Press Statement in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane during the winter, this Saturday.

“The blinkers went on last start and he’s a different horse,” Waller said.

Slightly shorter in futures betting at $11, Waller’s other runner Japonisme returned from a freshen-up with a third in the Roman Consul and was put through a “maintenance gallop” along with Counterattack at Flemington on Tuesday morning.

“I gave both of them a jump-out up the straight here on Friday to give them a look around and they did everything right,” Waller said.

“But we need Exosphere to fail.”

To tip an upset Coolmore Stud Stakes result this Saturday with a Waller-trained runner visit Ladbrokes.com.au now who are also offering an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds Derby Day winner in Races 1 – 5 at Flemington on Saturday!

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