Irish import Endless Drama will make his Australian debut when he steps out in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Premiership winning trained Chris Waller rates Endless Drama a genuine 2000m horse but is uncertain how his is going to perform at his first outing for the stable.
Endless Drama has been in Australia for six weeks and looked good in scoring an eight length win in an 1190m barrier trial at Cranbourne on October 17.
While Waller suggests that Endless Drama’s Irish form is good and he did everything he had to do in his trial, it was still hard for him to line up the lightly raced five year old against a quality weight for age field in the Emirates Stakes.
“His form suggest he is very good,” Waller told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Since coming to Australia he has settled in very well, has a great attitude which is going to be a big help in his early stage of his acclimatisation,”
“We have added a little bit of Australian spice to the barrier trial four weeks ago and then we went Moonee Valley for an exhibition gallop last Friday night.”
“In his work that he has done, we have been pretty happy with him. He does appear to be a genuine 2000m or even a 2000m plus horse, although his form will suggest that he is just as good at a mile.”
“He gives me that impression that he will need a true test over the 2000m, he might just lack that little turn of foot in this early stage of his Australian career.”
“This is a serious race, you have Cox Plate form there, you have other form lines coming into the race as well rock hard fit.”
“I am not saying it is guess work, we are just banking on the horse being at his best only six weeks or so off the plane.”
Endless Drama has drawn barrier four in the Emirates Stakes field and will be ridden by Craig Williams who got a feel of the Irish galloper in the his Cranbourne trial.
Waller will also saddle up Vanbrugh in the Emirates Stakes and said that he gets his chance to prove himself at weight for age at his favourite distance.
Vanbrugh is coming off a last start win in the Group 3 $150,000 Priceline Pharmacy Coogny Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 15 and will jump from gate ten with Ben Melham retaining the ride.
“You have to remember he was a Group 1 winner in the Spring Champion Stakes this time last year as a three year old,” Waller said.
“His form since them has been fair but at least he is back winning an easier race at least at Caulfield but over the 2000m distance.”
“This is his right distance, we have got him in form. Just a slightly wide draw to overcome against some pretty handy horses.”
“It is a big test for him and it will tell us if he is a weight for age horse at this level or not.”
Bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au have kept Endless Drama reasonably safe at $11 for the Emirates Stakes while Vanbrugh is marked as a $20 chance.
The Melbourne Cup winning team off owner Lloyd Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott has the $3.70 favourite The United States who is slightly ahead of French galloper Vadamos at $3.90.