Chris Waller’s latest stable acquisition Sacred Master targets The Metropolitan 2016 in Sydney this spring during the Kiwi expat’s maiden campaign in Australia.
Formerly prepared in New Zealand by Tony Pike the Mastercraftsman gelding has recently joined Waller’s Rosehill stables.
His old Cambridge-based trainer Pike confirmed plans to head towards the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with Sacred Master under the guidance of champion horseman Waller.
“We really want to have a crack at the Metropolitan with him and that comes up pretty early,” Pike told the NZ Racing Desk this week.
“He went over [to Sydney] a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be in three places at once with horses in Brisbane and at home.
“We’ve always had a very good association with Chris so it made sense.”
Pike enjoyed a stellar raid on the Brisbane Winter Carnival taking out the Queensland Oaks with Provocative as well as the JJ Atkins with Sacred Elixir who now targets Flemington’s Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Metropolitan meanwhile is one of three Group 1 races on the Royal Randwick card on Saturday October 1 during the AFL Grand Final weekend and Waller has prepared to previous winners of the mile and a half feature.
Waller’s first The Metropolitan winner was The Verminator (2011) followed by the success of Opinion (2014) two years ago.
He will shoot for a third this season with rising five-year-old Sacred Master who has to date won six of 13 runs back in New Zealand.
The horse had his first look at The Metropolitan distance of 2400m in February for a smart win in the Group 2 Avondale Cup at Ellerslie where he returned last time out for a third to El Soldado in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) over the two miles on March 12.
Sacred Master has trialled once in Sydney finishing fourth over 1050m at Randwick on July 15 with Rory Hutchings in the saddle and Pike is pleased with the horse’s progression.
“He’s come up brilliantly again after coming such a long way last preparation,” he said.
On Tuesday Waller also trialled fellow New Zealand-bred gallopers Who Shot Thebarman and Preferment.
Third in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, Who Shot Thebarman is set to resume racing in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20 where he’ll face off against star Cox Plate winning stablemate Winx.
Preferment meanwhile will look to add to his Group 1 tally over the spring following an ace autumn highlighted by the Australian Cup – The BMW interstate double.
The son of Zabeel, who finished second last (7th) over the 900m Rosehill hit-out this week won by Who Shot Thebarman, will kick things off on September 3 in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) over a mile.
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