Unable to be in two places at once, Chris Waller has decided to play at home, choosing the Golden Eagle meeting at Rosehill over Flemington’s Derby day.
Waller-trained stars Arcadia Queen ($3.10) and Kolding ($5) will be at Rosehill for Saturday’s new 1500-metre Golden Eagle for four-year-olds worth $7.5 million.
With four Group One races at Flemington on the same day, Waller would usually be in Melbourne and has been back and forth this week to supervise both teams.
He will miss his Group One runners including Relucent in the Victoria Derby.
“I can’t be everywhere and I’ve decided, with the inaugural running, I want to throw my support behind Rosehill,” Waller said.
Waller arrived in Sydney from New Zealand in 2000, building a racing empire that now stretches across the country.
“It (the Golden Eagle) means a lot to me being out west,” he said.
“That was one of the main ideas of the race, to support the western side of Sydney, which is probably the heart of Sydney. That’s where I live, that’s where I train.
“It’s important that I’m here. Hopefully, we can win a Derby in Melbourne and perhaps the Golden Eagle.”
Waller marvelled at the quality of the first-year field, comprising 17 runners with links to Melbourne (Sunlight), Adelaide (Behemoth), Perth (Arcadia Queen), Tasmania (The Inevitable), Ireland (Never No More and I Am Superstar) and England (Beat Le Bon).
“It’s a genuine Group One race,” he said.
With a $4.1 million winner’s cheque on the line, Waller suggested prize money increases in Sydney and Melbourne this spring had put the rest of Australia – and the world – on notice.
“Administrators, particularly in Victoria and NSW, need to be applauded because others need to catch up,” he said.
Waller will head to Melbourne after Saturday with Finche and Youngstar to run in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.