Waller Ticks 2016 Epsom Handicap Box for Cosmic Cube

Chris Waller is hoping recent stable acquisition Cosmic Cube can progress quickly through his early spring campaign and earn a shot at the Epsom Handicap 2016 in October.

Chris Waller

Chris Waller could set Cosmic Cube for a 2016 Epsom Handicap bid at Randwick Racecourse this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The former New Zealand galloper arrived down under mid-last year and had his opening three starts in Australia for David Vandyke.

Vandyke’s subsequent relocation from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland saw connections of Dehere gelding Cosmic Cube keep the horse in NSW and transfer him to the care of master trainer Waller – also a Kiwi expat.

With Vandyke the now six-year-old ran top three in his trio of runs including a Canberra win in the Listed National Sprint (1400m) on March 6 and a narrow second to Havana Cooler at Rosehill a few weeks later in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m).

Waller told Racenet he was pleased with the condition of the horse when he arrived to start training with the record-breaking stable and that he was looking forward to running him first-up at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

“David did a fantastic job with the horse and he’s come to us in great shape,” he said.

Cosmic Cube was brought on fitness-wise ahead of the $85,000 Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Spring Preview (1400m) on San Domenico Stakes Day, where he carries 60kg from barrier nine with Rory Hutchings riding, with a Randwick trial on July 29.

He caught the eye immediately running second to Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility in an 850m hit-out at the Kensington Track that also included Cox Plate winning stablemate Winx (4th).

“He’s only had the one trial but he’s a good horse I think,” Waller added.

Waller will gradually step Cosmic Cube up through the grades post-Saturday, the horse at $5 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win first-up in a race featuring the likes of the returning Gary Portelli-trained Testashadow ($4.50) and recent Winter Stakes winner Oxford Poet ($5.50).

He named the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 1 at Royal Randwick as the long-term aim.

“If he comes up well you could keep him nice and fresh into an Epsom,” Waller said.

“That’s what I’d like to do but the beauty of the spring is that there are so many options and so many forks in the road.

“The most important thing is getting him started and seeing where he’s at.”

Waller has prepared the past three consecutive Epsom Handicap winners with Boban (2013), He’s Your Man (2014) and Winx (2015) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

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