Chris Waller still doesn’t know how good Foreteller is but he’s seen enough to predict the imported galloper won’t be out of place in Saturday’s Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
Taking a line through imported stablemate My Kingdom Of Fife, who won at Group One weight-for-age level in the autumn, gives Waller confidence Foreteller can make his presence felt.
Foreteller scored his first win at Group level with an impressive last-to-first performance at Caulfield in the Group Three David Jones Cup (2000m) last start.
“Things couldn’t be better with him,” Waller said.
“I can compare him to My Kingdom Of Fife in the autumn when he went from strength to strength. We don’t know how good this horse is, maybe last start was as good as it gets.
“But that was his first time over 2000 metres and he won with a bit of authority.
“He’ll get confidence from that, he’ll appreciate the big track at Flemington and I think he can take the next step which is obviously Group racing.”
A Listed winner in France, Foreteller made his Australian debut in April and has won four of his nine starts for Waller.
The Mackinnon will be his first weight-for-age assignment in Australia.
“Maybe going to weight-for-age is a bit quick but how do you know unless you try,” Waller said.
“I’m going into the race confident of a good showing but certainly not convinced that he’s going to win or anything like that.”
Foreteller has the inside barrier and despite showing his liking for clear galloping room in his Australian wins, Waller believes the draw is “outstanding”.
“Up until now he’s shown he needs a bit of room in his races and he won’t get that on Saturday but barrier one will just smother him up, he can hopefully go to sleep and then he can get out at the 300-metre mark,” he said.
“As he showed at Caulfield he only needs 300 metres and he can pick most horses up. I love the draw and think it will be a big help to us.”
Group One winner The Verminator joins Foreteller in the Mackinnon and his chances of making the Melbourne Cup field received a big boost on Thursday with Luca Cumani stating his intention not to accept with Sahara Sun.
Sahara Sun is 24th in the order of entry with a field limit of 24.
The Verminator is 26th.
Waller opted to bypass the Caulfield Cup as he believed The Verminator would have “had nothing left” for the Melbourne Cup.
He said the gelding had “brightened up really well” since winning The Metropolitan.
The winner of the Mackinnon is exempt from any Melbourne Cup ballot.
“We’ve just closed our eyes now and I’m sure his Group One win will have some merit, especially if he’s borderline,” Waller said.
“I’d rather go into the race thinking that I’ve done everything right rather than trying to qualify at the last minute, knowing that it’s not going to help the horse.”