It is a long way from Royal Ascot to Royal Randwick’s inner Kensington circuit but in the space of just twelve hours, Chris Waller has managed to make his presence felt at both venues.
Nature’s Strip’s overnight heroics at Royal Ascot gave the champion trainer his first victory on the international stage, a win he rated among the “top five” of his illustrious career.
A dozen hours later and on the other side of the world, Waller was still churning out wins, this time with one of his new generation of horses in blue-blooded colt Eponymous.
A $1 million yearling purchase, Eponymous had jockey Chad Schofield searching for superlatives after overcoming a wide run to score on debut.
Schofield described the son of I Am Invincible as “stunning” and predicted he would find himself in much better races in time.
“He has got a lot of presence and he gave me a tremendous feel,” Schofield said.
“He was three-wide without cover, but I had the two main dangers just in front of me. He was always comfortable and I was always confident I was going to win the race.
“The last furlong, it was just a matter of keeping him focused and keeping him going but he held them quite comfortably.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he turns out to be a pretty good horse.”
With Waller and his right-hand man Charlie Duckworth in England to oversee the preparations of both Nature Strip and Home Affairs, who will contest the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on Saturday, Damien Fitton represented the stable at Randwick.
He said Eponymous was a later developing two-year-old but had always shown ability.
“He is a lovely colt. He has just taken a bit of time to mature mentally and physically,” Fitton said.
“He has come back well, his trials were nice and that was a great performance today.”
Waller’s team at home were understandably bleary-eyed after watching Nature Strip confirm his ranking as the world’s best sprinter in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but Fitton said they would not be completely satisfied unless Home Affairs made it a Group 1 clean sweep for the stable.
“The job is not done yet, we’ve got one more to go,” he said.