An emotional Chris Waller made history at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday when Oompa Loompa gave him winner number 156.5 in the 2012/2013 racing season to break the Sydney Trainers premiership record that jointly held by Tommy Smith and Gai Waterhouse.
Oompa Loompa was heavily backed in the lead-up to the race and, with Nash Rawiller on board, led all the way to record an historic victory in the Become An ATC Sponsor Handicap (1200m).
Waller wasn’t finished and recorded further wins with Fulgur, Secession and Eigelstein to leave his tally at 159.5 with seven city meetings still to be contested this season.
The leading trainer celebrated the historic moment with his family and was clearly delighted to finally set a new mark.
“My first emotion is a sense of relief, there has been a big build-up to this,” Waller said.
“The pressure has been there the last month.”
Waller was quick to pay credit to the previous record holders as well as the overall strength of the Sydney racing scene.
“It’s humbling to be mentioned alongside trainers like T.J. Smith and Gai Waterhouse,” Waller said.
“It’s hard to win races in Sydney and hard to maintain that winning strike-rate through a long season and I guess we did put some pressure on ourselves to keep it going.
“I remember last year we went into the 2012 autumn with a lead of about 45 wins over Gai and she got it down to about four or five as well as winning a lot of Group races.
“That showed us we could not relax and had to keep improving.
Waller will also finish the season as the leading Group 1 trainer in Australia after winning nine Group 1 events with eight different horses in both New South Wales and Queensland.