Premier trainer Chris Waller’s fine fillies ready to shine in Australian Oaks at Randwick

Premier trainer Chris Waller knew he had a great group of three-year-old fillies at the beginning of the autumn and the Australian Oaks was always going to be grand final day.
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He arrives with a trio runners in the group 1 blue riband for fillies, including favourite Winx, the emerging Ballet Suite and Wine Tales. Thousand Guineas winner Amicus is the only one of the team not to make it to the Oaks but she has dropped back to the Queen Of The Turf.

“She probably struggled at the 2000m in the Vinery Stud Stakes but we rode her out of her comfort zone,” Waller said. “She is a group 1 winner and I think her run in the Coolmore Classic [when fourth] was very good and it is the right form for the Queen Of The Turf.

“She probably could have gone for a spell but there is a $1 million race for her, which is the beauty of The Championships. There was not much between Winx and Ballet Suite in the Vinery and It think it will be similar on the weekend.”

This is the beauty of Waller’s steady building style of training, his horses almost always get to their targets. “If they don’t have ability to make it you reassess, these nice fillies have all shown that they are good enough to be at this level,” Waller adds.

His day isn’t strictly for the girls. Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal will ltry to lift  another Sydney Cup for him and Adelaide and Royal Descent are in the $4 million shootout in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

But the Queen Of The Turf and Oaks could define his day. Catkins, owned by the Inghams and a stable favourite, is his other Queen Of The Turf runner. She is still looking for her group 1 but Waller believes it might come on Saturday.

“She is in the best form of her career. It has always been hard to get it right with her because she puts so much into to her races,” Waller said. “She gets to this race with the right build-up and is ready to run the 1600m.”

Waller’s planning for the Oaks has been exact as usual and a month ago he split his four fillies, to give all their chance to win a race.

Ballet Suite beat up on a midweek race, while Wine Tales was runner-up in the Keith Nolan Classic at Kembla, Winx took out the Phar Lap Stakes and Amicus was only a long neck from winning the the Coolmore Classic.

The trainer runs through his assessment of the Oaks.

“Wine Tales simply didn’t handle the conditions [in the Adrian Knox Stakes] on Monday and I would [not] sell her short,” he said. “Ballet Suite is the filly that has been looking to get this sort of trip [2400m] and she is going to improve from her crack at this level [in the Vinery].

“Winx didn’t have the best of luck in the straight and has been at this level for a while and I think she will run a great race. I think her and Ballet Suite are very similar and there isn’t that much between them.”

Ballet Suite carries the navy blue silks and will have the services of Coolmore’s jockey Ryan Moore, who arrives to ride Adelaide but a decision is still pending on whether the Cox Plate winner runs on Saturday.

“He is best on rattling tracks and it will come down to how the track recovers because we know he is not the best on soft and heavy tracks,” Waller said.

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