Hollindale Stakes 2015: Chris Waller quartet begins journey towards Doomben Cup
HAVING finetuned the formula for Queensland success during the past five years, Chris Waller launches another sunshine state raid with up to four runners in Saturday’s Hollindale Stakes.
Previous visitors Foreteller, Moriarty and Hawkspur return, along with revitalised nine-year-old He’s Imposing.
“With WFA horses, we make a call pretty early on in the Sydney carnival. 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,” Waller said.
“These are four pretty good horses that are one step below Queen Elizabeth standard, but well-placed in Queensland.”
Waller won the Hollindale with Metal Bender (2010) and My Kingdom Of Fife (2011), and this quartet will then likely push on to the Doomben Cup, which the stable won with Metal Bender and Beaten Up (2013).
But while the older horses have done well for the stable, it’s with the unheralded youngsters where Waller has really found gold in Queensland.
“We tested the waters in the early days, had a winner here and there, brought a few more up and ended up winning Group races, then Group 1 races,” Waller said.
“You go back the next year, take a few extra, be a bit more experimental and next thing you get your Zoustars and Brazen Beaus to come out of it.
“We don’t like to take too many. Obviously Sydney autumn carnival is our main focus, but I see Queensland as a nursery for the next generation and I’ve been preparing horses for that.”
Sadler’s Lake has been earmarked for the Queensland Derby, while Counterattack and Encosta Line will be given their chance in the juvenile features.
Winx and Ballet Suite are going to press on from their Australian Oaks runs to tackle the Queensland division.
“Counterattack is a brother to Red Tracer and Shellscrape, who both used Queensland as platforms for their successful careers,” Waller said.
“He’s a horse we could have pushed on towards the Golden Slipper, but I didn’t think he could win it. I think he is a three-year-old and I think Queensland will make him, as it did with Zoustar, Brazen Beau and Pressday.
“Encosta Line is similar to Counterattack. He ran second at Randwick, then we put him out.
“We’re sacrificing some pretty big races, but you know you’re going to have a horse at the end of it and you’re not going to fall into the trap of just being a part of the autumn carnival, which some horses fall into.”