Trainer Chris Waller will use Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick as the final lead up race for Royal Descent heading towards the Cox Plate.
The Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley three weeks later will be just the right amount of time in between races for Royal Descent according to Sydney’s premier trainer.
“I don’t think she needs hard racing and that mile will just top her off with three weeks to the Cox Plate with just a couple of Moonee Valley gallops in between,” Waller told AAP.
Waller has the option of running the Redoute’s Choice mare in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this Saturday but thought the 1600m of the Epsom Handicap would be a better option.
“Had I run her in the Turnbull Stakes and then given her some of those tough Moonee Valley gallops as well there’s a chance of over-training her,” Waller said.
Waller intends to take last year’s Australian Oaks winner to Moonee Valley for a couple of gallops to get her accustomed to the tricky tight turning circuit in the lead up to the ‘Weight-For-Age Championship of Australasia’.
Royal Descent hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since winning the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival but has been runner up at her three runs this campaign.
Royal Descent kicked off her Spring Carnival with a second to Tiger Tees in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 23 followed by a second to stablemate Hawkspur in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6.
Then at her latest start, it was the Waller trained Sacred Falls that proved too strong her in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20.
Royal Descent is well up the market order for the Epsom Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au and is on the second line of betting at $5 behind last Saturday’s Shannon Stakes winner Rock Sturdy at $3.80.
Stablemates Boban, at $7, and He’s Your Man, at $7.50, will also represent the Waller stable with last year’s third placegetter Toydini at $7.50.
In Cox Plate betting Royal Descent is marked as a $21 chance with last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner at $7.50 holding a slight advantage over Sacred Falls and the Peter Moody trained Dissident at $9.