Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller isn’t dismissing the chances of any of his three runners in the 2018 Group 2 $200,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Waller will saddle up Zousain, Lean Mean Machine and Performer in The Run To The Rose as a prelude to the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 22.
Performer is the only one of the trio who has a run under his belt this campaign but had no luck when caught wide from an outside barrier before finishing third to Graff in the Group 3 $150,000 Singapore Airlines San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 25.
Performer has drawn the rails in The Run To The Rose with Hugh Bowman sticking with the Exceed And Excel colt and Waller is expecting him to secure a much better passage in the twelve horse field.
“His first run was certainly a pass mark. I think three wide with no cover told over the concluding stages,” Waller said.
“He is drawn to get a much better run on Saturday and hopefully we don’t get too much rain.”
“Gate one will see him get a much more economical run. The horse has done everything right since.”
“Very sharp workout last Saturday morning and he looks a picture of health.”
Performer is marked at $7.50 for The Run To The Rose with Ladbrokes.com.au while Zousain is on the second line of betting at $4.20 behind the $2.60 favourite Graff.
James McDonald takes the ride on Zousain who has drawn awkwardly at barrier eight but Waller thinks that could be an advantage if the track is rain affected.
“Good colt and he has really improved since his two year old year. I think he is the real deal,” Waller said.
“Barrier eight I don’t see as being a concern, three or four off the fence might be the place to be.”
“He has drawn to find that and should run well.”
Zousain will be having his first run back since being the runner up to his stablemate The Autumn Sun in the Group 1 $600,000 Jaguar Land Rover J.J. Atkins Plate (1600m) at Doomben during the 2018 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Lean Mean Machine from barrier seven is the longest price of the three Waller runners at $15 but the leading trainer is not ruling him out of contention.
Tye Angland takes the mount on Lean Mean Machine and Waller said that the in-form hoop has given nothing but glowing reports for the Zoustar colt after partnering him into fifth place in a 1000m trial at Rosehill on August 25.
“Tye Angland has been aboard him in his trial and his work since and he could not have been any more complimentary towards this horse,” Waller said.
“I think the distance is the query, but he deserves the right to be running over it fresh and he is another one to be going to the Golden Rose second up and hopefully through to a Caulfield Guineas.”
“His speed will tell us where we head with him, but I think a mile will suit him later in the prep.”
The Kris Lees trained Graff looked very impressive in winning the San Domenico Stakes but didn’t go around a horse after jumping from the inside barrier but will have to contend with the outside gate this weekend.