The autumn preparations for a number of Chris Waller-trained gallopers will get serious on Thursday; with several of the leading trainers Group 1 contenders set to take part in barrier trials at Royal Randwick.
Enigmatic filly Champagne Cath has been included in the nominations for the open trial over 1050 metres after finishing fourth behind Golden Slipper winner Overreach in a barrier trial over 728 metres on January 3.
Champagne Cath finished her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow win in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) and Waller is hopeful that the Street Sense filly can progress to Group 1 level in the autumn.
The three-year-old will compete in the third trial of the day and will face Team Cummings-trained Eurozone, consistent filly Bound For Earth, veteran gelding Pinwheel and Gai Waterhouse-trained Knight Exemplar.
Waller will be represented in the fourth trial of the day over 1050 metres by imported galloper Foreteller and Ingham Racing-owned Forever Crazy.
Foreteller will be making his first public appearance since he was sent to the spelling paddock following his seventeenth place finish behind Fiorente in the 2013 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.
The Dansili gelding was one of the most consistent weight-for-age performers during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; winning the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) before finishing second in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Another Waller-trained Group 1 winner who will be appearing at the barrier trials on Thursday is Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur, who will face stablemate Moelleux in an open trial over 1050 metres.
Hawkspur stamped himself as a Cups contender with a dominant victory in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick in September, but had no luck from an outside barrier when seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and failed to run out the trip strongly in the Melbourne Cup.
Classy entire Sizzling joined the Waller stable following his seventh place finish in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and will make his first public appearance for his new stable in a trial over 740 metres on Thursday.
Sizzling took out the Group 1 T.J. Smith (1600m) as a two-year-old and scored victory in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m), but failed to fire in the spring and was unable to record a win in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) and the Epsom Handicap.
Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Zoustar was included in the nominations for the barrier trials on Thursday, but Waller has elected not to accept with the classy colt who will be chasing his third Group 1 victory during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Gai Waterhouse will also be well represented at the barrier trials and both Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and Her Majesty The Queen Of England-owned Carlton House will take part in a trial over 1200 metres.