Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller admits that he is a fan of glamour three year old Exosphere who has been installed the favourite for the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The John O’Shea trained Exosphere is currently the $2.50 top pick in the Ladbrokes.com.au market order, fractionally ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua at $2.60.
Exosphere showed his above average ability in his early two year old days winning the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm and then in his three year old season claimed the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill during the Spring Carnival.
The Lonhro colt then went on to win the Group 2 $300,000 Canterbury BMW Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick before his winning run came to an end when fourth to the Waller trained Japonisme as the odds on favourite in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31.
But even though Exosphere was beaten down the Flemington straight against his own age group, Waller still have a very high opinion of the colt that carries the royal blue colours of Godolphin.
“But the one we are all in awe of is Exosphere, he’s a super horse,” Waller told the Herald Sun.
“He’s got to do it up the straight and do it against the older horses, but I think what I appreciate, having seen him win a couple of times, is that he has done some extraordinary things.”
Waller will saddle up two runners in the Black Caviar Lightning, Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Japonisme and 2015 Darley Classic winner Delectation.
While Japonisme is a winner down the Flemington straight against his own age, Delectation is a proven weight for age performer at Flemington with an upset win over the more fancied Chautauqua and Terravista in the 22015 Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) on the last day of the four day 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
While Waller respects Exosphere and the rest of the small field, he is still giving his two runners a great chance, especially Delectation.
“Delectation is proven at weight-for-age level; the other is still getting there. So Delectation just in the Lightning, and Japonisme to reverse the roles in the Newmarket. That would be perfect,” Waller said.
The Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12 is likely to have the small group of high class sprinters going around in the Black Caviar Lightning lining up again.
Craig Williams will ride Delectation in the Black Caviar Lightning, replacing Darley Classic winning jockey James McDonald who is committed to ride Exosphere while Glyn Schofield has retained the mount on Japonisme.
While leading Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn will continued his association the Hawkes trained Chautauqua.
Black Caviar Lightning market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Exosphere, $2.60 Chautauqua, $8 Delectation, $8.50 Terravista, $10 Japonisme, $26 Kinglike, $81 Va Pensiero.