Although he is the country’s leading Group One trainer, Chris Waller has paid tribute to next-level horses such as Black On Gold who keep the stable at the top of the tree in Sydney.
Black On Gold’s win in Saturday’s Kensei Handicap (2000m) at Rosehill gave Waller 169 metropolitan wins for the season and equalled his tally of two seasons ago when he set a training record in Sydney.
As he powers his way to an eighth Sydney premiership with 13 meetings remaining, Waller has reflected on the achievement.
“It’s a credit to my staff both here and at Flemington and the Gold Coast,” he said.
“We’ve grown from a small stable to 130 staff and it’s a massive operation.
“Everyone plays a part and we have good systems in place which you need.
“We also have a lot of horses and I’m proud of the number of runs we get out of them.
“A lot of them are bread-and-butter horses who earn good money for their owners and that’s the important thing.”
Black On Gold has won seven of his 26 starts and been placed on five occasions, earning prize money in excess of $380,000.
He was a $6 chance in the Kensei while stablemate Dagny was the $3.60 favourite.
Lovani ($10) led the field until the home turn, with Black On Gold coming out of the pack in the straight.
He burst clear to beat another Waller-trained runner, Sayed ($9.50), by half a length. Lovani was another three-quarters of a length in third.
Dagny finished sixth after getting held up for a run.
Unlike the 1987 Melbourne Cup winner for whom the race is named, Black On Gold will not head to next month’s Grafton Cup (2350m).
“I think 2000 metres is his maximum distance,” Waller said.
“We have tried him over further before.
“He appreciates the good tracks even though it started out soft today and this is his level of race.”