For all his many achievements, training the winners of the major two-year-old races had never been Chris Waller’s niche.
But the champion horseman changed that reputation in the space of a season after making a clean sweep of Sydney’s juvenile triple crown.
Waller did it with two exciting colts, taking out the Golden Slipper (1200m) with Shinzo and adding the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and Saturday’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) with Militarize.
“It makes me a little bit emotional,” Waller said.
“We haven’t done anything differently, just looked after this great crop of two-year-olds and they’ve looked after us.
“We train for all the main studs and I’m very grateful to be in that position. I guess we’ve worked hard to get there but making your name as a two-year-old trainer isn’t easy.
“We’ve used it as our defence to say we look after them so we get these great results later on, but maybe things are turning a little bit. We’re pretty proud of it.”
Militarize ($2.05 betr fav) was caught wide throughout but when Joao Moreira presented him at the top of the Randwick rise, he found another gear, spearing to the front to run out a 1-3/4 length winner.
Tulloch Lodge provided the placegetters with Bases Loaded ($17) kicking strongly after leading to hold down second with Townsend ($17) another length away third.
Moreira said the fact Militarize won despite having a tough run was testament to his quality.
“I think the sky is the limit for this horse,” Moreira said.
“Based on the way of how he has done it today, mile is not a problem and I can see him even running 2000 metres or maybe even further.
“Just by the way how he travels underneath, respecting the rider. He will be such a versatile type of horse.”
Co-trainer Adrian Bott was thrilled with the performances of the placegetters and said Bases Loaded and Townsend would both be spelled with a view to the major spring races, the Golden Rose a likely target for the former.
“He (Bases Loaded) nearly executed it to perfection, he just bumped into a better horse on the day again,” Bott said.
“He’s done a great job all preparation, he’s been through all the right formlines and he’s been pretty consistent.
“Townsend was having his third start on the back-up, he’s done an excellent job so he’ll go out as well and is a real (Caulfield) Guineas-Spring Champion horse.”
– RAS NewsWire