Gai Waterhouse dominated the barrier trials at Royal Randwick this morning, but on Monday it will be Chris Waller that will have plenty of 2014 Spring Racing Carnival contenders in action.
Waller has six of the nine runners in the opening trial of the day over 900 metres, which has a field that would not have looked out of place as a Group race during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Boban, Foreteller, Hawkspur, Kencella, Sacred Falls and Weary have all been included in the acceptances for the open trial, but Weary will not take his place after he was given a quiet trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
Kencella, who was previously prepared by new Darley trainer John O’Shea, made his first public appearance for his new stable in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on July 7 and showed his customary speed to record a comfortable victory.
The Waller stable stars will be joined in the opening trial by the Team Hawkes-trained trio of progressive stayer Entirely Platinum, beaten Doncaster Mile favourite Messene and talented mare Angel Bee.
Waller also has a strong hand in the second trial of the day over 900 metres; with Sydney Cup placegetter Opinion and new stable recruit Who Shot Thebarman set to be joined in the trial by improving mare Bubbles ‘N’ Boats, Field Marshall and imported stayer Grand Marshal.
While Waller has Lucky Chappy in the third barrier trial of the morning over 1030 metres, all attention will be on two-time Group 1 winner Criterion, who will be making his first public appearance since his brave win in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Criterion finished his three-year-old career with two straight wins at Group 1 level and trainer David Payne is targeting the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 with the talented son of Sebring.
Criterion will be joined in the trial by stablemate Honorius, who won the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and returned to the races with a close second behind Tromso in the Octagonal Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on May 31.
Sacred Falls ($11), Boban ($17), Messene ($21), Hawkspur ($21) and Criterion ($26) have all received betting support in the 2014 Cox Plate betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.