Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Master Sydney trainer Chris Waller is bullish over his chances heading into next month’s 2018 Doncaster Mile with Comin’ Through following thee four-year-old’s tough Ajax Stakes win on Saturday.
Since 2008 Waller has prepared an incredible six Doncaster Mile winners including four on the trot from 2013-2016 headlined by Winx (2016).
This year the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) runs at Royal Randwick on April 7 as part of Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ and Waller looks to have uncovered a genuine contender in Fastnet Rock gelding Comin’ Through.
Improving on a lead-up third when narrowly beaten by stablemate Endless Drama at Randwick on February 17 in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), Comin’ Through relished being kept fresh for the Group 2 $200,000 Ajax Stakes (1500m) on Coolmore Classic Day.
Always with the intention of running in the Doncaster Mile field with the light weight, Waller kept the autumn runs of the horse spaced first to second up with three weeks now until the Group 1.
“He’s never been far away in some of the best races in town,” Waller said post-win on Saturday.
“He’s placed pretty well [for the Doncaster] and he’s got the right credentials.
“I’d be pretty bullish about his chances.
“Hence the reason he went four weeks from his first-up run into today…just to keep him sharp.
“Keep that speed in him and he’s a good chance for the Doncaster now worth $3 million.”
Ridden by the flying Michael Walker who won the Australian Cup at Flemington last Saturday and the Adelaide Cup on Monday, Comin’ Through had been left alone late by the punters drifting in Ajax Stakes betting from $3.80 to $5.
It was stablemate Tom Melbourne returning to racing off two nice trials who was the big market mover, the perennial placegetter firming in from $4.40 to $3.40 favouritism before the jump.
The punters had the Waller duo in the wrong order however with the better fancied Tom Melbourne having to settle for second, the seven-year-old’s sixth second placing in nine starts.
The Ajax Stakes field was led around by Arbeitsam who held front running into the straight before the challengers came.
After being left alone in sixth wide throughout, Tom Melbourne hooked to the outside late charging home with Comin’ Through in a battle of the stablemates won by the younger of the two.
“I was watching how Tom [Melbourne] got speed wobbles at the top of the straight he was going that fast,” Waller said.
“I could see that the stablemates were going to fight it out…I thought Tom Melbourne had his measure but to Comin’ Through’s credit he fought bravely for a good win.”
Rounding out the Ajax Stakes trifecta in third was the Michael Moroney-trained Radipole ($8) who scratched out from Saturday’s Blamey Stakes in Flemington, subsequently won by Darren Weir’s Doncaster Mile-bound Humidor, in favour of this Sydney run.
“Hopefully that gets him into the Doncaster now and I think he’s a great hope,” winning hoop Walker said.
“Chris has done a tremendous job with this horse.”
He is out to do the Ajax Stakes – Doncaster Mile double twice in as many years following the success of It’s Somewhat (2017), who was the first to do so since Grand Armee (2003).
To back Comin’ Through in the Doncaster Mile 2018 odds, led by the Randwick Guineas winner Kementari ($4.40), head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2018 Ajax Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 8 – 17/03/2018
|1||3||COMIN’ THROUGH||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||–||2||56kg||$5|
|2||2||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||0.2L||4||56.5kg||$3.50F|
|3||9||RADIPOLE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Corey Brown||0.3L||1||53kg||$8|
|4||7||CELLARMAN||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||0.6L||7||53kg||$10|
|5||6||ARBEITSAM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||0.7L||3||54.5kg||$7|
|6||1||PRIZED ICON||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||1.6L||6||58kg||$6.50|
|7||10||KINGSGUARD (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jay Ford||2.1L||8||53kg||$26|
|8||4||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||3.2L||9||55.5kg||$41|
|9||8||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||4.8L||5||53kg||$12|
|–||5||INTERLOCUTER (USA)||James Cummings||Tye Angland||–||0||–||–|
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