With Winx having a well-deserved rest, Chris Waller’s attention turns to a new dimension to his stable when Japanese import Satono Rasen starts the Australian phase of his career.
The six-year-old is one of two Japanese horses now with Sydney’s premier trainer and while Admire Winners will be held back until spring, Satono Rasen lines up in Saturday’s Group One All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick .
Waller has a history of assimilating European stayers to Australian racing successfully and will attempt to do likewise with established Japanese talent.
Sired by champion racehorse and now stallion Deep Impact, Satono Rasen is expected to be more competitive in Queensland over winter with Waller using the All Aged Stakes as a stepping stone to the Group Two Hollindale Stakes and Group One Doomben Cup next month.
“There’s been no handicap 1400s around so we had to start him,” Waller said.
“It’s really hard to prepare a horse for Queensland without a run.”
Satono Rasen has three victories from 21 starts but has not won since the Group Two Kyoto Shimbun Hai (2200m) in May, 2015.
He arrived in Sydney earlier this year and has had one barrier trial on April 6 when he finished four lengths off Sedanzer over 1030m.
“He trialled well and Hughie (Bowman) rode him the other morning and said he just lacks a turn of foot. It’s a good starting point,” Waller said.
He said Japan would be a focal point as it was becoming difficult to source stock from Europe.
“They were getting very expensive from England and Ireland and we all know how good the Japanese horses are, hence the reason we bought a Deep Impact at the sales last week,” Waller said.
He spent $1.1 million on a filly at the Inglis Easter sale, while Godolphin also spent $1 million on the other Deep Impact filly to be auctioned.
Satono Rasen was a $41 chance with the TAB on Thursday as TJ Smith Stakes winner Trapeze Artist continued to dominate the market at $2.25.
Waller is also represented by stable favourite Tom Melbourne ($11) and Endless Drama ($26).
Tom Melbourne ran fifth in the Doncaster Mile in which Waller thought a wide gate cost him any chance to either beat or finish runner-up to Happy Clapper.
He has barrier four of 13 this time around.
“I wish he’d drawn this in the Doncaster. He had a tough run in the Doncaster and you always wonder how hard a race like that is on him coming back 200 metres,” Waller said.
Waller said Endless Drama, ninth in the Doncaster, needed the sting out of the track.
“His runs this prep have been good. He needs rain especially over the shorter trip,” he said.
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