Chris Waller will launch a three-pronged attack on Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Festival Stakes with Tromso and Altered Boy to lead the charge.
Both Tromso and Altered Boy are former winners over 1500m on their home track at Rosehill and Waller is pleased with both horses ahead of Sydney’s first stakes race of summer.
Eight-year-old entire Alexander Of Hales will join the pair in his first start since March.
“He had a really long spell, he has trialled very well and he’ll run a cheeky race,” Waller said of Alexander Of Hales.
A Group Three winner in Ireland and runner-up in the 2007 Irish Derby when trained by Aidan O’Brien, Alexander Of Hales hasn’t won for more than two years.
However, the son of Danehill ended his previous campaign with runner-up performances in the Listed Parramatta Cup (2000m) and Group Three Randwick City Stakes (2120m).
Waller has a couple of summer targets in mind for Alexander Of Hales after his Festival return.
“There’s a Listed race (Tattersalls Club Cup) over 2100 metres at Warwick Farm on January 2 and then he’ll go to the Gosford Cup,” Waller said.
The $125,000 Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) is on January 12, with Alexander Of Hales finishing third in the event last year.
Strong performances from Tromso and Altered Boy would confirm Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) starts two weeks later.
“Tromso’s second-up run at Warwick Farm was good and he’s going well,” Waller said.
“He’s ready for 1500 metres on Saturday.
“They’ve just got to run in a race like the Festival and whoever runs well there can go on to the Villiers.”
Both Tromso and Altered Boy come out of a 1400m Open Handicap at Warwick Farm on November 19 won by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Kontiki Park, with Tromso sixth and Altered Boy eighth.
Waller is expecting Altered Boy to relish the slightly longer journey on Saturday.
“His run the other day was good. It was just a bit short for him,” Waller said.
“That was 1400 metres but the 1400 at Warwick Farm is a bit soft. The 1500 metres at Rosehill will suit him a lot better.
“He’s ready to fire.”