Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has six horses in the 2015 Apollo Stakes field and he rates imported galloper He’s Your Man and Expressway Stakes winner Weary as his best chances in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
He’s Your Man was originally set for the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but Waller changed his plans for the Cape Cross gelding after he won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and that decision paid dividends when he won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and finished second in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1.
The six-year-old has not recorded a first-up win during his racing career to date, but Waller believes that He’s Your Man has the versatility to win over 1400 metres in the Apollo Stakes on Saturday.
“He is pretty foolproof,” Waller said.
“He was a nose off winning the Mackinnon and that would have capped off the perfect preparation after caught three wide the whole way.
“He is pretty versatile, he is not that good on a heavy track, but he gets through a soft track with no problems and he has drawn favorably.
“He looks fairly forward and he is a really good horse.
“I think he is one of our better chances.”
He’s Your Man will be joined in the 2015 Apollo Stakes field by stablemates Boban, Hawkspur, Weary, Junoob and Foreteller and Waller believes that Weary is his other leading chance in the $250,000 race.
Weary stamped himself as a horse to watch when he finished in the placings at Group 1 level in both the Doncaster Mile (1600m) and All Aged Stakes (1400m) last year, but he failed to fire in three race starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
A new companion in the form of a stable pony allowed Waller to get Weary to put in on the training track ahead of his autumn campaign and the Astronomer Royale completed an excellent training performance when he stormed home late to win the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31.
Waller admits that he was initially unhappy when he saw Weary’s Apollo Stakes barrier draw, but be believes the rain that hit Sydney overnight gives the five-year-old the best possible chance to record back-to-back wins this weekend.
“I was concerned about the draw, but certainly not now we have had some rain and I think that will even the barrier draws up,” Waller said.
“He likes a soft track and that brings him right back into contention.
“He and He’s Your Man would be my preferred two.”
Weary has been backed into Apollo Stakes favouritism and is now into a quote of $5.50 with Ladbrokes, while He’s Your Man is out to a price of $6.50.