Royal Descent had a tough run when dead last in the Caulfield Cup last time out over the mile and a half but trainer Chris Waller is hoping for improvement when she sees out her prep in the 2015 Myer Classic over 800m shorter at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Waller’s 2013 ATC Oaks champion, Royal Descent went over two years between wins with the daughter of Redoute’s Choice breaking the drought first-up this spring with success over Gai Waterhouse’s subsequent Cox Plate fourth placed Pornichet in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (14000m) at Randwick in August.
Her next two runs were also both at Randwick for top three efforts including the second behind Doncaster Mile winning stablemate Kermadec in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), a distance she is back over for the first time since this weekend.
A second to another stablemate Preferment, who runs on Tuesday week over the two miles in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) with a light weight of 53.5kg, in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington in early October was Royal Descent’s tune-up for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Glen Boss was aboard the six-year-old in the handicap classic, and had no choice to take Royal Descent to the front leading from her outside barrier 18 of 18 draw.
She faded to finish dead last behind the Murray Baker-trained Kiwi four-year-old Mongolian Khan, now the $8 second elect along with Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris for British trainer Ed Dunlop behind Japan’s Fame Game to win the 2015 Melbourne Cup, crossing nearly 30 lengths off the winner.
Instead of turning her out to the paddock after the failed run, Waller will give Royal Descent to cap off her campaign on a high dropping her back to a mile for this weekend’s weight-for-age $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day.
Waller has backed off her work since the Caulfield Cup and was pleased with her strong gallop at Flemington on Tuesday morning ahead of her Derby Day run.
“She’s done a lot of work in preparation for a Caulfield Cup and ran over 2000m in the Turnbull prior to that,” he told Racing Victoria.
“It’s a two-week turnaround, back off the work completely, a couple of trips to the beach, lighter work.
“They still need to do some fast work just to stimulate the blood levels, which is what she did this morning.
“She had a short, sharp workout – 800m at three-quarter pace, and then breezed up the last 400m, a good solid gallop.
“Like us, if we have a good solid gallop for about as far as we can run before we start getting fatigued, you pull up five minutes later and you just feel great.
“She’ll be bright and smart and a mile is her best distance.”
She is one of 17 fillies and mares nominated for the race, the favourite in the pre-field Myer Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the Flemington events on Saturday being the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Thousand Guineas winner Stay With Me ($4.80).
Royal Descent meanwhile occupies the second line of early Myer Classic betting at $6, Waller shooting for his second win in three years following the success of Red Tracer (2013) who came off a win in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes.
This year’s Tristarc Stakes winner was the Darren Weir-trained La Passe, the Street Sense five-year-old a $17 hope to secure the double in 2015.
Waller also has Amicus ($21) nominated for the Myer Classic after the four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock ran a disappointing 11th of 12 Tristarc Stakes runners on Caulfield Cup Day.
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