Waller Eyes 2016 Queensland Derby with Trafalgar

Sydney’s leading horseman Chris Waller is already looking at the Queensland Derby 2016 this coming Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival with his classy young three-year-old Trafalgar.


Chris Waller’s 2013 Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur. Photo: Daniel Costello.

A winner of two of his three career starts to date the promising Hinchinbrook gelding impressed Waller on Wednesday when carting a hefty 61kg to a narrow win over Unbiased at Canterbury in the $40,000 Cellarbrations Handicap (1900m).

It was the first look at the distance for the up-and-coming stayer, ridden by Glyn Schofield, who won on debut over 1500m at Kembla Grange last month before a second at Randwick over 1800m on New Year’s Day.

It was also a very gutsy performance as Trafalgar had to dig deep in the closing stages to hold off Godolphin’s runner-up by just a short half head.

Waller believes the sky is the limit for the nicely bred youngster and hopes he shapes up as a livewire hope for the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse in early June.

“He could just as easily have won three in a row,” Waller told AAP.

“That’s what good horses do. They either win or come second and he is a good horse in the making.

“It’s great to be able to educate them and see the results and see him finish his races off like he does.

“I think he is a Derby horse but the (Group 1) Australian Derby (at Randwick in April) will probably come too soon.

“The likely program would be to give him one more start and then set him for the Queensland Derby in June.

“I don’t think 2400 metres will be beyond him.”

Waller has saddled-up six Queensland Derby runners over the years for a third place finish and a win with Hawkspur in 2013.

He also won last year’s Queensland Oaks with subsequent Cox Plate winning superstar mare Winx so knows what it takes to saddle-up a three-year-old Group 1 winner in the sunshine state.

Raced by Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds syndicate, Trafalgar is a half-brother to Mick Price’s 2007 Underwood Stakes winner Rubiscent.

Another youngster confirmed to be targeting the Queensland Derby this winter is the Bryan Guy-trained Eagle Way after the More Than Ready gelding won by nearly three lengths at the Sunshine Coast earlier in the month.

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