Switzerland’s Predictable Slipper Build Up Pleases Waller

There might already be one Golden Slipper trophy in Chris Waller’s keeping but the champion trainer admits he’s still learning about the world’s richest two-year-old race.

Trainer Chris Waller (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Slipper runners have been surprisingly few and far between for Sydney’s biggest trainer – he’s had just 10 starters with Shinzo last year his first success – and it’s the unpredictable nature of youngsters that makes the job harder.

Switzerland is Waller’s lone runner in the Group 1 $5 million TAB Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens and he’s not been faced with any surprises when it comes to the colt’s build up.

“The Golden Slipper is the best two-year-old race in the world so trying to gauge where they are to get to that level it’s hard for me,’’ Waller said.

“It’s exciting, but it’s edge of your seat as well.

“You turn up on Saturday with Militarize, or Kovalica, and you know what to expect but with two-year-olds I’d like them to be a bit more predictable.

“(Switzerland) is a horse that’s continuing to thrive and that’s been so important going into a grand final.

“Each time he’s gone up 10 per cent and he’s done the same over the past 10 days. He’s a confident horse, he hasn’t been asked for the extreme effort yet but he will be on Saturday.”

When Shinzo won the Slipper last year he gained a start at the last minute by winning the Pago Pago seven days before but with Switzerland each step has gone as Waller planned.

He debuted in late January and showed a sharp dash to win over 1000m, he then waged war with Shangri La Express on the speed to win the Pierro Plate and gained his Slipper ticket with another dynamic off the pace win in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago.

Farnan in 2020 is the last Todman winner to take the double.

Whether all that results in a Slipper win remains to be seen but Waller said the colt, who carries the same colours as Shinzo, has a sense of timing about him and the right racing style to make a serious bid for victory.

“This horse’s preparation has unfolded a bit more evenly,’’ he said.

“He’s always shown us above average ability but a lot of horses do that. He’s kept lifting, jumping the bar we put in front of him and this Saturday goes to another level again.

“What I like about his races is he’s solid all the way to the line, he runs through the line as we say, and I think with more pressure involved the higher he will perform.”

James McDonald, whose Slipper win came 10 years ago on Mossfun, rides Switzerland who was $4.80 second favourite with TAB on Thursday with Storm Boy at $2.30.

This year’s Slipper has been billed as a match between the two unbeaten colts and Waller has a heap of respect for the short-priced favourite, who was ridden by McDonald in his Skyline win but will be partnered by reigning Slipper winning hoop Ryan Moore.

“(Storm Boy) is the real deal, he’s a masculine horse, and I guess to some degree that’s what two-year-old racing is about, who is the best on the day and who is the strongest on the day,’’ Waller said.

“We hope Switzerland is down in the barn doing push ups.

“It’s a unique race each year but this year it does have the feel of one of the special races. The race will be won by a horse headed for huge things.”

– Racing NSW

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