Trainer Chris Waller is confident that Japonisme has the talent to measure up at the highest level of racing, but he believes that maturity could be a telling factor for the gelding in the 2015 San Domenico Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Japonisme made his racing debut with a third place finish at Warwick Farm on March 4 and he was beaten by San Domenico Stakes rival Redzel in the Tab.Com.Au Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 19 before he was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing fifth in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 1.
The Choisir gelding returned to racing with a fast-finishing win in the TAB Rewards Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Canterbury on July 8 and he proved that win was no fluke when he beat King’s Troop to win the Bob Ingham Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 18 and cruised to victory in The Tradie Magazine Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 1.
The Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) was earmarked as a possible target for Japonisme following his third straight win and Waller clearly has a big opinion of the three-year-old, but he believes that the gelding may still be one preparation away from peak form and will be an even better horse in the autumn – even if he is able to beat the likes of Vancouver and Redzel in the 2015 San Domenico Stakes.
“He will, but it might be next preparation,” Waller said when asked if Japonisme can measure up at the highest level.
“There is not a lot of him, he is quite immature and he is racing against the big guns here.
“He has race fitness on his side and that will take him to the 100 metre mark, but class and maturity might just take over that last bit.
“He is a good horse and if he wins on Saturday he will win a Group 1 race, but it won’t be in the spring, it will be in the autumn.
“He will measure up.”
Japonisme is currently available at 2015 San Domenico Stakes odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes and he is on the third line of betting behind Golden Slipper winner Vancouver ($2.40) and Team Snowden-trained Redzel ($5).
Waller is chasing his first win in the San Domenico Stakes since he took out the 2009 edition of the race with Shellscrape.