The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After a stellar autumn at home Sydney’s premier horseman Chris Waller will look to extend his training brilliance to a Group 1 win or two this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the first step towards that being a four-pronged Hollindale Stakes 2015 assault on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Waller will nominate for a quartet from his stable in the $350,000 Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on Saturday, a race he won back in 2010 with Metal Bender and then again 12 months later with smart import My Kingdom Of Fife
My Kingdom Of Fife went on to run a brave second to Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) one run later, Metal Bender having completed the double the previous year, and that $650,000 feature run on May 9 is also the major aim for his four Hollindale hopes this season.
Waller has enjoyed plenty of Queensland success over the past half a decade, form he hopes continues when he brings Foreteller, Moriarty, Hawkspur and veteran nine-year-old I’m Imposing to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
“With WFA horses, we make a call pretty early on in the Sydney carnival,” Waller explained to The Courier-Mail on Sunday.
“If we think they are going to be competitive in the Queen Elizabeth we push on, if not, we back off and go to Queensland.
“These are four pretty good horses that are one step below Queen Elizabeth standard, but well-placed in Queensland.”
Three of the four are previous winter competitors in Queensland.
Foreteller was runner-up in the 2013 AD Hollindale Stakes and that year’s Doomben Cup behind the fellow Waller-trained Beaten Up, the now eight-year-old Dansili gelding last seen finishing eighth in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Moriarty, a seven-year-old son of Clodovil, raced at Eagle Farm in 2013 and enjoyed a Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) triumph before a fifth in both the Hollindale Stakes and Doomben Cup last year.
He then became a dual Group 2 winner at Eagle Farm when taking out the Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) last May before running second to Floria when unsuccessfully defending his Brisbane Cup title.
Since then Moriarty snared a Group 1 win in Perth taking out the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot in December last year ahead of his first-up eighth to Real Impact in Sydney’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) as a 100/1 roughie on March 21.
The other former Queensland visitor representing Waller in the Hollindale this weekend, Hawkspur won three on the trot in Brisbane in 2013 including the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old two years back.
He hasn’t been back to Brisbane since but his recent Sydney form has been good with two third place runs in March at Rosehill over 2000m in the Sky High Stakes and Neville Sellowood.
Waller’s Hollindale quartet this year then is rounded out by a newbie to Queensland, but not racing, with the rejuvenated I’m Imposing.
A rising 10-year-old, the son of Danehill Dancer has had 30 starts to date for five wins, the dual Summer Cup winner having resumed with a George Ryder Stakes 10th ahead of his Brisbane debut this Saturday.
It isn’t just the old warhorses who Waller has earmarked for big Brisbane bids this season.
He also plans to bring Sadler’s Lake up for a Queensland Derby go, while two-year-olds Counterattack and Encosta Line could be given a shot at the juvenile features during the carnival.
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