Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller is looking at a two state Group 1 wining double on Saturday with top chances in the $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and the $350,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
Waller is searching for his third consecutive Chipping Norton Stakes with a win last year with Shoot Out and the year before with Danleigh with both gallopers contesting this year’s race.
While the top trainer is going for his first Australian Cup with last start Caulfield winner Foreteller.
Waller has the odds stacked in his favour with six runners in the Chipping Norton and will also saddle up Group 1 winner Albert The Fat, stayers Kelinni and Gatewood and three year old Tougher Than Ever.
Foreteller is going into the Australian Cup in fine fettle coming off a Group 2 win in the $220,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 23 and has come up with barrier 2 in the thirteen horse field.
The Dansilli six year old will pick up a $50,000 overseas subsidy package if he can win the final leg of the Group 1 Middle Distance Championship going into the Australian Cup with the most points for the series.
‘We have not given a lot of thought yet to an overseas campaign but time wise the Singapore International Cup is certainly an option for him,” Waller said.
Waller aimed Foreteller towards the Australian Cup after missing the Spring with injury and had his first run this campaign in January.
‘You need to have a horse quite forward for the Australian Cup and when you are preparing your horses for the Sydney carnival it comes around too soon,’ Waller said.
‘He’s been in work a long time and resumed back in early January so we have been biding our time since.”
Foreteller is up against a very strong Australian Cup including last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, Mackinnon Stakes winner Glass Harmonium, Western Australian Group 1 winner Mr Moet, Doomben Cup winner Mawingo and top three year olds Fiveandahalfstar and Super Cool.
Foreteller rounded off his Australian Cup preparation with a sold 1000m gallop on the Flemington course proper on Tuesday, clocking 1.8.74s, coming home the final 400m in 25.5s.
‘I just wanted a solid workout without breaking him in half and that’s what he did,” Waller said.
“It is a big step up on Saturday but he has had a good preparation and he should be a very good chance there.”
The Robert Hichmott trained Green Moon ran a great race first up when fourth in the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 23 with Waller rating the Melbourne Cup winner the one to beat.
“Green Moon’s first up run was excellent,” Waller said.
”He was obviously very fit for that race and he looks the one that we all have to beat.”
Green Moon has been posted the $3.50 Australian Cup favourite ahead of Mr Moet at $5 and Super Cool at $5.50.
Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar is next in the betting at $9, Glass Harmonium and Mawingo share the $10 line with Foreteller an $11 chance.