Waller’s International Approach For Sistina’s Ranvet Bid

Champion trainer Chris Waller has taken an international approach to the preparation of high class former UK mare Via Sistina hoping it can result in a first-up Group 1 win at Rosehill on Saturday.

Trainer Chris Waller (Pic: Bradley Photos)

After watching William Haggas travel horses to Sydney with great success over the past few autumn carnivals, Waller is taking a leaf out of his book in readying the six-year-old for the Group 1 $1 million Ranvet Stakes (2000m).

Haggas won the Ranvet in 2020 with Addeybb downing Verry Elleegant before Waller’s star mare turned the tables a year later. Last year Haggas was at it again with Dubai Honour scoring a runaway win.

Waller said since Via Sistina arrived, spending two weeks in quarantine at Canterbury before transferring to his Rosehill stable, she’s done everything right.

“We prepared her in Newmarket, I kept a close eye on what Mr Haggas has done with a few of his horses which have beaten Verry Elleegant a number of times,’’ Waller said.

“He just gets it right every year. Firstly he brings the right horse. Secondly he prepares them well and thirdly they cope with the trip. So she looks like she’s that type of horse.

“She’s thrived the last two weeks. She’s just going on the right path forward and I’ve been impressed with her.”

Via Sistina was sold as a yearling for $10,000 Australian and when she returned to the Tattersall’s December sale late last year she was snapped up by Yulong for $5.4 million.

She’s the winner of the Group 1 Pretty Polly (2011m) at The Curragh and arrived in Sydney a few weeks ago having run second in the Group 1 Champions Stakes (2011m) at Ascot.

That’s the same race Haggas has used for both Addeybb and Dubai Honour prior to each of their trips down under and that’s not lost on Waller.

The mare was beaten 3/4 lengths by King Of Steel in that race back in October and it’s form Waller highly respects, as do the markets as she was $3.70 with TAB on Wednesday and $6 for next month’s Group 1 $5m Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

“Her form makes me smile,’’ he said.

“I’ve been lucky enough to see King Of Steel race in person a couple of times and he’s a big deal.

“Arguably she should have beaten him last start on a similar type of track at the same distance. If she brings that form it’ll be exciting.”

The Ranvet will be Buckaroo’s second run for Waller and he tackles the race five weeks after a slashing first-up fifth in Fangirl’s Apollo Stakes.

Waller elected not to run him in the Verry Elleegant two weeks later and instead barrier trialled just over a week ago. He said it’s the right race for the five-year-old, to be ridden by Ryan Moore, who will appreciate a soft track and every bit of the 2000m.

“I’m hoping Via Sistina doesn’t spoil his party because that’s the race he’s been set for,’’ Waller said.

“He’s gone forward in the right direction. He showed enough speed to be competitive first-up over 1400m and now he’s at 2000m it’ll be right up his alley.”

Victoria Derby winner Riff Rocket was dual accepted for the Ranvet and the Group 1 $750,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) as he heads toward next month’s Australian Derby.

The gelding ran third in the Australian Guineas over a mile second-up off a sharp fresh win and Waller said while beaten his run was more than acceptable with a view to staying races.

“I want to see him bring that Victorian form to Sydney, it’s questionable whether he’ll be better on the other leg,’’ he said.

“It was just hard to make up ground in the Australian Guineas so I think his run was good, looking for further.”

– Racing NSW

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