The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Sydney’s premiere horseman Chris Waller stole the show at Royal Randwick in Saturday’s marquee race running the 2023 Epsom Handicap quinella with his fast-finishing duo of Rediener and Kovalica.
Jockey Kathy O’Hara celebrated her third career Group 1 in the saddle while Waller took his imposing record at elite level up to 152 with the narrow photo-finish win by four-year-old Rediener in this year’s Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m).
“Very special for Kathy (O’Hara), Charlie’s (Duckworth) wife. It’s great, Kathy is just an amazing toiler. Sydney racing 52 weeks a year she just gives it her best, amazing horse person. Gives you great feedback, she lives on a horse. Charlie is obviously so close to me,” Waller said after the win.
The wins keep coming for progressive Redoute’s Choice gelding Rediener ($9.50) who won two on the trot before a spell and then saluted fresh in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on September 16.
“When he won in Queensland we set him for this race, but setting horses for races is not easy,” Waller said.
“But to see him win like he did first-up it gave us a little bit of hope and the barrier draw (gate 2) was obviously a plus.”
He franked that form with another lovely ride by O’Hara sitting up on the pace throughout before a late lunge saw him hold out his Queensland Derby winning stablemate Kovalica ($10) for an all-Waller top two.
Third in the famous Randwick mile classic went to the brave front-running Golden Mile who Blake Shinn had leading from the jump.
Shinn controlled the pace in the lead and tried to steal the show when Golden Mile gave a lovely kick on the home straight to surge ahead of the favourite Nugget.
Nugget was taken up on the outside to challenge a long way from home by Damien Oliver after he found himself caught three-wide and couldn’t slot in.
Golden Mile ($16) however was too strong shrugging him off and nearly taking out the Group 1 before being swamped right on the line by Waller’s two nice horses.
Kovalica was excellent second-up wide out flashing home with improvement to come as the son of Ocean Park steps-up in distance this prep.
2023 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order
|1||17||REDIENER||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2||50kg||$9.50|
|2||10||KOVALICA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||0.07L||7||54kg||$10|
|3||6||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Blake Shinn||0.23L||17||55kg||$16|
|4||18||BARBIE’S FOX||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Dean Yendall||1.22L||4||50kg||$51|
|5||16||DEMOCRACY MANIFEST||Chris Waller||Tyler Schiller||1.28L||1||51.5kg||1.5kg||$9|
|6||8||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Craig Williams||1.92L||10||54kg||$7.50EF|
|7||1||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Chad Schofield||2.01L||15||56kg||$21|
|8||3||THE INEVITABLE||John Keys||David Pires||2.63L||8||55.5kg||$9|
|9||21e||WILLIAMSBURG||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Andrew Adkins||3.37L||3||50kg||$31|
|10||11||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Oliver||4.03L||16||54kg||$7.50EF|
|11||12||POUNDING||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Ms Jamie Kah||4.06L||13||54kg||$10|
|12||9||DIAMIL (IRE)||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||4.36L||5||54kg||$91|
|13||5||CONVERGE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||4.75L||9||55kg||$11|
|14||7||KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||5.83L||11||54.5kg||$51|
|15||13||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Dylan Gibbons (a)||6.28L||6||53.5kg||$19|
|16||22e||POLITICAL DEBATE||Chris Waller||Ms Rachel King||6.33L||18||50kg||$201|
|17||15||MADAME POMMERY||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||7.22L||14||51.5kg||$41|
|18||4||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||7.41L||12||55kg (cd 55.5kg)||$31|
|2||PERICLES||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||0|
|14||DUKE DE SESSA (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Regan Bayliss||0|
|19||WATERFORD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Zac Lloyd (a)||0|
|20||OLENTIA||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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