Chris Waller’s success with imported stayers could result in its biggest pay day in Saturday’s Sydney Cup.
Hawk Island’s effort under 61 kilograms to win the JRA Plate in heavy conditions on Saturday has propelled him into second favouritism for the gruelling 3200 metres at Randwick.
He will carry topweight of 57kg with weights to be raised at Wednesday’s acceptance time.
Favourite for the Group One Cup is another European import, Mourayan, who races in Lloyd Williams’ colours.
Waller targeted tried horses’ sales in England a few years ago looking for stayers to compete throughout the Sydney winter.
Most have adapted well to Australian conditions and have paid their way.
“I was rapt with Hawk Island on Saturday and he has come through the race very well,” Waller said.
“It was basically a final gallop for him before the Cup.
“Once the imported horses adapt to our way of racing they seem to do well and it’s a big thing to be able to get the bloodlines.
“Hawk Island is by Hawk Wing out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and you can’t buy that in Australia.
“You have to get horses out of daughters of Sadler’s Wells but we are getting the direct line.
“We just don’t breed stayers in Australia so it’s good to be able to bring these ones over.”
Waller also has to other former Europeans, Stand To Gain and Strike One, in the Cup.
“Both need the two miles to help them get through what could be a slow track,” he said.
Williams will also have three runners in the Cup with Muir and C’est La Guerre to join Mourayan who was runner-up to Herculian Prince in the Metropolitan Handicap in the spring.
Unlike Waller who bought his trio at public auction, Williams went directly to Coolmore in Ireland to buy a group of stayers to compete in the Melbourne Cup.
Mourayan was at $6 on Monday with Hawk Island, C’est La Guerre and Once Were Wild all on $7.
The Lee Freedman-trained Above Average is next best at $13 alongside Laristan and Macedonian.
Above Average and the Laristan from the David Hayes stable are yet another two who have come from the northern hemisphere.