Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has strength in numbers with four of his Winter Carnival contingents in the nominations for the Group 2 $358,000 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Group 1 winners Foreteller, Hawkspur and Moriarty as well as the well performed I’m Imposing are among the twenty-one entries the Gold Coast Turf Club received for its flagship weight for age feature that will kick off the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Waller has had great success in Queensland in recent Winter Carnival visits and has won the Hollindale Stakes on two occasions with Metal Bender in 2012 and My Kingdom Of Fife the following year.
The premier trainer decided to save Foreteller, Hawkspur, Moriarty and I’m Imposing from the later part of the tough Sydney Autumn Carnival, which included the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, and send them north to spearhead his Winter operation.
“With weight for age horses, we make a call pretty early on in the Sydney carnival. If we think they are going to be competitive in the Queen Elizabeth we push on, if not, we back off and go to Queensland,” Waller told The Courier-Mail.
“These are four pretty good horses that are one step below Queen Elizabeth standard, but well-placed in Queensland.”
Three times Group 1 winner Foreteller was unplaced from four runs during the Autumn Carnival and at his latest start was always well back when eighth to Pornichet in the Group 3 $150,000 The Sunday Telegraph Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Moriarty has had only one run since winning the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in December when eighth to Real Impact in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Hawkspur was one of the 2013 Brisbane Winter Carnival stars with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm while I’m Imposing was in top form over the Sydney Summer Carnival with wins in the Listed $100,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill and the Group 3 $125,000 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick.
The Hollindale Stakes is looming as a tremendous pipe opener for the Winter Carnival with 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever also listed in the nominations.
Green Moon has had one run back this preparation for a fourteenth to Watermans Bay in the Group 3 $150,000 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on April 4 while Silent Achiever is coming off a tough Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign which saw her finish just behind the placegetters in four runs including a last start two and a half lengths sixth to Hartnell in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Also nominated for the weight for age Hollindale Stakes are Precedence from the Bart and James Cummings stable, Gai Waterhouse’s French Import Pornichet, the Villiers Stakes winner Rudy and last year’s Queensland Guineas winner Sir Moments.