Last year’s Queensland Derby winner Magicool is beginning the long road to defy recent history and make a fist of his career.
Magicool was trained by Mark Kavanagh when he won the three-year-old Classic last year.
He finished near the tail of the field in five Group One races last spring before being transferred to Sydney’s premier stable.
Under Waller’s care, Magicool had one run in March when he beat home one runner in the Group Three Doncaster Prelude.
Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said they were mindful of his busy spring when they decided to give him an extended spell.
“He didn’t show enough and there was nothing really for him so we thought we’d give him proper time off,” Duckworth told AAP.
Magicool returns to the races in Saturday’s Filante Handicap over 1400m at Randwick, free of the lugging bit, stallion chain, Norton bit and cheekers he raced with in his last start for Kavanagh.
“He used to have a lot of gear on. We’ve stripped him back to just being a horse,” Duckworth said.
It is not uncommon for Queensland Derby winners to struggle to return to form at the top level.
County Tyrone, the 2002 winner, is the last horse to win another Group One race after the Derby.
The Waller-trained Hawkspur won in 2013 and went on to win back-to-back Chelmsford Stakes at Group Two level as well as finishing fourth in a Doncaster Mile.
As Magicool aims to be another to challenge the trend, Duckworth said Saturday’s race was about rebuilding his confidence.
“We just want to get him to race honestly and try to find some form,” Duckworth said.
Magicool is the $23 outsider of the eight-horse field.
Stablemate Religify is the $2.40 favourite after being swamped late by Group One-bound entire Thunder Fantasy in his last start at Randwick on October 8.
“Had they not challenged him for a lead last start and he’d managed to sneak a couple of easy sectionals or even one easy sectional it might have been enough to get him to win,” Duckworth said.
“You can’t really fault him. His race work and his trackwork have been exceptional since.”