The country’s leading Group One trainer is turning his attention to Brisbane with former European Spiritjim among the advance guard for the winter carnival.
Over the coming weeks, Chris Waller will be looking to add to his 15 Group One wins for the season and Spiritjim has the credentials to step up to the mark.
He will make his Australian debut in Saturday’s Group Two weight-for-age Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast, a traditional lead-up to the Group One Doomben Cup (2000m) two weeks later.
Spiritjim was a multiple stakes winner in France and briefly a Group One winner until he lost the 2014 Prix de St Cloud because of a positive swab.
His previous owners thought highly enough of Spiritjim to run him in the past two editions of Europe’s premier race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but he was unplaced.
He has been bought by Sun International Bloodstock and arrived in Australia earlier this year.
“He is a lovely horse and I was pleased with his barrier trial when he ran second,” Waller said.
“He has adapted well to our stable and seems to like the conditions in Australia.”
Group One winning sprinters Japonisme and Delectation are also headed to Queensland.
A last-start winner of the Group Two Arrowfield Stakes from his Waller-trained stablemate Counterattack, Japonisme will run in the BTC Cup (1200m) in two weeks.
He is also among the entries for the sprint races at Royal Ascot in June.
“Royal Ascot is still an option but it is unlikely,” Waller said.
“Delectation will go to Queensland for sprint races.”
An upset winner over Chautauqua in the Darley Classic in the spring, Delectation was unplaced in three autumn starts.
But a barrier trial win on Friday has confirmed he deserves his chance to continue his preparation.