Sydney’s master trainer Chris Waller has ruled out a back-up into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 on Saturday for Kermadec who failed to beat home any other runner when crossing last in his Doncaster Mile title defence on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
Waller’s champion mare Winx made history in last weekend’s $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) when saluting as the odd-on favourite with 56.5kg on her back, the most carried to victory by a four-year-old mare in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
While word is still out on whether the daughter of Street Cry will run at Royal Randwick again this Saturday looking to extend her winning streak to 10 straight in the autumn’s richest race – the $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) – Waller has ruled Kermadec out of the weight-for-age classic.
Twelve months ago Kermadec ran and won the Doncaster Mile with a light weight on his back.
He looked set for another good run in his attempt to go back-to-back after a second to Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), but laboured under the 57kg top weight on the Soft-rated track on the weekend.
Things went amiss for the Teofilo four-year-old who finished dead last (15th) some 17 lengths off his star stablemate.
The bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au still have Kermadec as a $34 chance in all-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting, but Waller on Sunday told Racing Victoria he pulled up distressed after the Doncaster and wouldn’t run this Saturday.
“I’m thinking he’s choked down or something, because he was gone at the 400-metre mark,” Waller said.
“We’ll get him checked out thoroughly. He had an elevated heart rate after the race, so he put in, but there was something amiss and we’ll assess where we’re at.”
There is still a chance Kermadec will head overseas to Royal Ascot in England during our winter, but Waller said they would have to see how things go with another run down under needed before confirming any international bids.
As it stands, things are looking good for Winx who on Sunday enjoyed a recovery beach session after her Doncaster success that took her career earnings up over $6.67 million.
“She went off to the beach this morning, it’s the first stage for her, and we’ll see how she is on Monday afternoon or Tuesday,” Waller said.
“There are probably 10 factors involved in whether she’ll race next Saturday; the way she looks, her presence, how bright she is, how she’s eating, how she’s moving. Things like that.
“But with horses, there’s really only one thing to consider and that’s them. Hopefully she’ll give us some indication how she is on Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning.”
It was Waller’s fourth consecutive Doncaster Mile win, and his sixth success in the race overall, and now he is hoping his mare shows the right signs to run again in the Queen Elizabeth that he has previously won with My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013).
Winx is odds-on again at $1.45 in the futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds ahead of stablemate Preferment ($7) who has won the Australian Cup – The BMW double this time in and The United States ($8) who connections will pay the hefty $66,000 late entry fee to get into the race.
Waller though reminded the public that longevity was important and that if Winx wasn’t 100% she would be saved for the spring.
“It was a tough day yesterday,” he said on Sunday.
“It wasn’t your normal Good 3 track that they get home strongly on, and it was a pretty tough run throughout.
“As much as we want to be there for the public in seven days, I think it’s just as important that we’re there for the spring and we’re there next autumn as well.
“That’ll be the first thing I’ll consider.”
The 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is due for release at 9am (AEST) on Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, why not check out the juicy pre-field odds on offer at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositor’s bonus!