Waller Import Sucess Born Of Humble Beginnings

By: Sarah Fortnum
September 16th, 2011
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Hawk Island

Hawk Island is Chris Waller's best chance for success in the Hill Stakes

Rosehill trainer Chris Waller has revealed that his successful business of importing overseas stayers began after he was unable to afford to purchase yearlings at the Australian sales.

“I just couldn’t afford to buy yearlings at the sales,” Waller said.

Waller marketed the horses as possible Melbourne Cup hopefuls to Australian buyers.

“We bought a couple (overseas) and they were very easy to sell,” he said.

“It’s easy to sell a horse if you’re talking Melbourne Cup.”

The trainer soon discovered that a Melbourne Cup horse was too hard to discover and instead directed the horses towards Australian Saturday class races.

“We aim at Saturday races and some of them progress beyond that,” Waller said.

However, the top Sydney trainer concedes that buying international tried horses is still an expensive process.

“It’s quite a costly exercise,” Waller said.

“So if you buy five or six it works out a bit cheaper.”

The trainer has chosen to syndicate the majority of his overseas imports.

“What we’ve worked out is it’s better to spread the risk (by) taking a share in every horse rather than buying one outright,” he said.

“(The owners are) not making millions of dollars but their having lots of fun.

“I think we’re up to about 30 runners.”

Out of those 30 runners, only one failed to win a race.

Waller will line up three of his imported horses against each other in the Group 2 Hill Stakes at Rosehill tomorrow.

Stand To Gain, Illustrious Blue and Hawk Island will all take to the track for the $200,000 race, but Waller believes Hawk Island has the biggest chance of success.

“Hawk Island would be the most forward of the three,” he said.

“I’m expecting a big improvement tomorrow.

“He is better on a wet track but it’s probably not an overly strong race.

“I think he’ll be the best of the three.”

Waller also commented on stable flag bearer My Kingdom Of Fife’s Cox Plate chances.

“We’ll target the cox plate,” he said.

“Obviously he’ll have to improve a bit to win one.

“(But) it doesn’t look like an overly strong year.”

My Kingdom Of Fife has won three of his five Australian race starts and has placed second in the other two runs.

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