Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed that talented colt Press Statement will not return to the races in the 2016 Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Press Statement was one of a number of Group 1 winners that were included in yesterday’s Orr Stakes nominations, but Waller told the media this morning that the three-year-old will not head to Melbourne and will instead remain in Sydney for the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 20.
The son of Hinchinbrook will then return to Group 1 level for the Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 5 before he takes on the older horses in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19 and the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400mm) at Royal Randwick on April 16.
Press Statement made his racing debut with victory at Canterbury in April of 2015 and he took out the Place Multi Plate (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens before he won the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben in just his third race start.
The colt started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival with a second place finish behind Exosphere in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29 and he had no luck in running whatsoever in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
Press Statement returned to winning form in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 and he stamped himself as one of the best three-year-olds in the country with his front-running win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Waller will still be represented in the Orr Stakes field by Boban, who will be ridden by champion Hong Kong-based hoop Douglas Whyte.
Boban has not been seen at the races since he failed to beat home a runner in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington, but he has trialed well at Royal Randwick on January 12 and January 29 and he took out the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) first-up last preparation.
Boban is currently available at 2016 Orr Stakes odds of $7 with Ladbrokes and he is on the fourth line of betting behind Turn Me Loose ($4.40), Lucky Hussler ($4.60) and Press Statement ($5.50).
Waller is chasing his first win in the Orr Stakes after previously missing the placings with Bagman (12th behind Dissident in 2015), Beaten Up (14th behind Dissident in 2015), Foreteller (fourth behind Moment Of Change in 2014), Hawkspur (sixth behind Moment Of Change in 2014) and Honor In War (tenth behind El Segundo in 2007).