The 2008 Randwick Guineas stands out as a milestone in trainer Chris Waller’s career – not because he won it, more that he did not.
Triple Honour seemed destined to give the up-and-coming trainer his first Group One win until that season’s champion three-year-old Weekend Hussler charged late.
After looking at the photo-finish Waller had to acknowledge there was a discernible margin.
He was dejected but more determined than ever. Two starts later Triple Honour won the Doncaster Mile and Waller was on his way to establishing himself as the country’s leading Group One trainer year after year.
He has won the past two Randwick Guineas (1600m) with Kermadec and The Autumn Sun who are both now at stud.
On Saturday the stable will be represented by Reloaded, Kubrick and Pancho with the race losing some star power because of the scratching of Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth.
Trainer Anthony Freedman told stewards on Wednesday the colt had an elevated temperature and poor blood picture.
Reloaded goes to the race on the back of a half-length second to Guineas rival Brandenburg on a soft track which he is likely to get again.
“He’s come through his run in the Hobartville very well,” Waller said.
“He worked exceptionally well on Saturday morning and he’s ready to fire over a mile.
“I think he’s a very good horse. I think because he didn’t race for a while he went missing in everyone’s mind but he showed last start he is a very good horse and the Randwick Guineas is perfect for him.”
Kubrick was not comfortable in the ground in the Hobartville in which he finished eighth but he does boast a soft track win.
“Kubrick didn’t handle the heavy track at all the other day,” Waller said.
“We went back and looked at his first run on a wet track, which he won, and the comments we take post-race, which we keep, said he was only just handling the track on that occasion.”
Pancho ran fourth in the Hobartville, a length from third placed Microphone, one of five Group One winners in the race.
Classic races for three-year-olds are dear to Waller’s heart because the horses are not competing against northern hemisphere challengers.
“The Randwick Guineas is a great race and we’ve got a couple of horses who have been set for it so hopefully they run accordingly,” he said..