The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The half-brother of Group One winners Elvstroem and Haradasun, Altius, will make his debut for the Chris Waller stable in the De Bortoli Wines handicap over 1400m at Rosehill on Saturday.
Formerly trained by Tony Vasil in Melbourne, Altius failed to live up to his blue blooded potential in the spring last year.
He burst onto the scene when he fittingly won the Elvstroem 2yo at Swan Hill on debut before taking out his second start at Geelong. After those two starts he seemed to have the world at his feet and he was even a one time favourite in pre-post Victorian Derby markets. However he failed to live up to the expectations and ended up being spelled after a disappointing performance in the Norman Robinson.
However Waller believes the horse has what it takes to fulfil the promise he showed as a juvenile.
“Obviously he’s a very talented horse,” Waller said.
“He has had throat surgery so for that reason he’s not fully wound up yet but we’d like to think we can be running him in some better races in the spring, but there is still a long way to go.
“It is his first run for the stable, he’s a nice horse and it’s a privilege to be training the horse for obviously very successful owners.
“The horse has come to me in good shape and we’ve still got plenty of horse to work with so I’m thankful for what Tony Vasil has done. His class will take him a long way on Saturday but whatever he does he will improve immensely from.”
Altius will be ridden by Nash Rawiller on Saturday. It is a family that Rawiller should be familiar with. He rode Haradasun to his first four wins, while he was also aboard Elvstroem for wins in the 2004 Caulfield Cup and 2005 Dubai Duty Free.
Altius’ name comes from the Olympic motto ‘citius, altius, fortius – which in Latin translates to faster, higher, stronger.
It continues the Olympic theme owner Frank Tagg has followed in naming the progeny of Circles Of Gold whose dam is Olympic Aim.
Altius is a $4.80 second favourite on Saturday behind Testarhythm, who is favourite at $4.60. Waller will also saddle up Studious in the race, who is being quoted as a $15.00 chance.
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