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Chris Waller’s Epsom Handicap 2019 chances have dramatically improved thanks to Kolding’s big win in Saturday’s Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick.
With a guaranteed spot in next month’s $1 million race on October 5, Waller will now have a crack at claiming his fourth Epsom after a memorable threepeat between 2013 to 2016.
Kolding, a four-year-old New Zealand import, has remained steady with Ladbrokes.com.au at $7.00 odds ahead of Samadoubt and yesterday’s Newcastle Cup winner, Rock.
After opening at $7.50 odds prior to Saturday’s jump, Kolding settled thee-wide before shifting into fifth gear down the straight. Fierce Impact caught everyone’s eye bursting through a gap, but it was Kolding who found just a little bit extra to go on and win by a short half head.
Kolding looked a little forward in his conditioning in the mounting yard, but a previous run proved the trick.
Running fifth in last fortnight’s Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) was a disappointing result for Waller, but he admits he was pleased with Kolding’s run on Saturday.
“Want to keep them on their toes that is for sure. That was a great finish. Shows you what the bob of the heads does in terms of luck on race day,” Waller said.
Kolding is the eighth four-year-old to win the Bill Ritchie and the first to win from barrier 9. He’ll now enjoy a handy lightweight in the Epsom, another factor Waller is more than happy about.
“It’s a good weight. He has a sense of timing. It is the race we’ve set him for after running in the Queensland Guineas. And he’s got the right colours too. It was good to see him fight strongly the last 50m when it looked like he was going to be beaten,” Waller went on to say.
There was no such luck for Cascadian though, as the Godolphin favourite struggled to find a suitable spot with a wall of traffic in front.
Fierce Impact was also not disgraced hitting the line strongly in a brave run home.
2019 Bill Ritchie Handicap Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||–||9||57kg||$7|
|2||8||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Nash Rawiller||0.2L||2||56kg||$10|
|3||12||DESERT LORD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2L||8||54.5kg||$5.50|
|4||7||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||2.8L||3||56kg||$4.20F|
|5||11||PURPLE SECTOR (NZ)||John Thompson||Tim Clark||3.2L||7||54.5kg||$14|
|6||1||TALLY||James Cummings||Joshua Parr||3.6L||5||58kg||$71|
|7||4||ARCHEDEMUS||Gwenda Markwell||Luke Currie||3.7L||6||57kg||$12|
|8||3||AVANTAGE||Jamie Richards||James McDonald||4.2L||10||57kg||$7|
|9||6||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5.6L||4||56.5kg||$5.50|
|10||10||MY XPRESSION (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||6L||1||54.5kg||$41|
|–||9||KAONIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||MANTASTIC (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||–||0||–||–|
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