The in-form trainer of the season Chris Waller scored his third consecutive win in the three-year-olds’ sprint feature of VRC Derby Day with his 21/1 roughie Japonisme scoring a boilover in the Coolmore Stud Stakes 2015.
Odds-on favourite in this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) was the John O’Shea-trained Golden Rose winner Exosphere.
Despite the short price and the red hot record of favourites in the stallion-making Coolmore Stud Stakes, Exosphere proved vulnerable down the famous Flemington straight course opening it up for the first double figure winner to salute since Headway (12/1 in 2009).
Exosphere was a touch slow at the jump and drifted right back in the field early along with the stablemate Mogador.
The Singapore flyer Super One got a flying start and was off to a good lead in the early part of the race, setting mid track as the clear frontrunner in the classic.
Waller’s Choisir gelding Japonisme meanwhile was getting a lovely run up the inside with Glyn Schofield aboard the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes winner who was second-up following a freshen-up after his Run To The Rose fourth back in August.
He was sent out for a brief break after that run, Waller opting not to take him to the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), believing the horse more of a genuine sprint type.
His predictions proved true when the untapped gelding ran third in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) to Exosphere on October 3, a race that has now produced three Coolmore Stud Stakes winners in as many years for Waller.
Japonisme’s stablemate Counterattack, coming off a Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) win at Randwick from October 17, moved up in the early part of the Stud Stakes to sit outside the leader ready to strike.
With 300m left to go Exosphere worked his way to the outside and was starting to let down, but James McDonald was going for the whip as the horse couldn’t get close enough to the frontrunners to feature in the closing stages.
Counterattack and his hoop Blake Shinn took the lead briefly before the better fancied of the two Waller runners Japonisme ($21) flashed up the inside late.
In the end the upset went to Schofield’s mount over the Blue Sapphire Stakes winner Keen Array ($13) who ran second after barging his way through, while market mover Counterattack ($11) boxed on to cross third giving Waller two in the Coolmore Stud Stakes trifecta.
“It was a beautiful run,” winning hoop Schofield said.
“He trailled really well down the straight about a week and a half ago and I was pretty confident coming into this race.
“We got the run behind the leader who seemed to be weakening considerably.
“It was soft in the end (the win).
“Chris Waller’s done it again and produced another marvellous result.”
Waller prepared Zoustar (2013) and Brazen Beau (2014) to score the Roman Consul Stakes – Coolmore Stud Stakes double in the past two years, and said post Japonisme’s win that the race held a special spot in his heart.
“Very special,” the always-emotional Kiwi expat said.
“It’s just a special day Derby Day and this is one of the iconic three-year-old races of the year.
“We never built ourselves up because we’ve got such huge respect for Exosphere, but we’ve also get respect for the Flemington straight.
“You’ve got to prepare well for it, which we did.
“He had a nice jump out, which has produced the right result for us the past three years.”
Japonisme is likely to come back in the autumn where he could try to emulate Brazen Beau from last year who ran second to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes (1000m) in February before a Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) win in March – both at Flemington.
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2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 4 – 31/10/2015
|1||5||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||3||56.5kg||$21|
|2||4||KEEN ARRAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||1.5L||5||56.5kg||$13|
|3||6||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2.25L||11||56.5kg||$11|
|4||1||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4.25L||2||56.5kg||$1.60F|
|5||10||MOGADOR||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||5.25L||7||56.5kg||$19|
|6||7||DAL CIELO (NZ)||Murray Baker||Opie Bosson||5.65L||12||56.5kg||$51|
|7||12||RAGAZZO DEL CORSA||Danny O’Brien||Ben Melham||5.95L||1||56.5kg||$201|
|8||11||HELLBENT||Kurt Goldman||Dwayne Dunn||6.95L||6||56.5kg||$18|
|9||2||READY FOR VICTORY||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||10.45L||4||56.5kg||$26|
|10||8||SEBRING SUN||Gary Portelli||Brenton Avdulla||12.7L||9||56.5kg||$26|
|11||3||SUPER ONE||Michael Freedman||Hugh Bowman||12.8L||10||56.5kg||$26|
|12||9||BLACK VANQUISH||Tom Hughes||Patrick Moloney (a)||16.3L||8||56.5kg||$151|