Chris Waller has compared Stout Hearted to Group One performer The Verminator and will set him on a similar spring path to last year’s Metropolitan winner.
Stout Hearted lived up to his $3 favouritism in the BMW Strong Relationships (1900m) at Canterbury on Saturday to beat Lethal Arrow ($14) by 4-1/2 lengths.
Second favourite Havana Rey ($3.10) weakened to finish second last after stretching out to a lead of 10 lengths mid-race after Tommy Berry was unable to restrain him.
A winner in England over 2018 metres, Stout Hearted has won two races in Australia since joining the Waller stable.
“I could compare him to a horse like The Verminator,” Waller said.
“He kept winning these races and ended up in the Metropolitan.
“He’s still learning and it’s a good time of year for these horses to go from midweek to Saturday races.
“He’s by Americain’s sire Dynaformer so he should be able to stay.
“He’ll run in an 1800-metre race at Rosehill in two weeks and we’ll go from there.”
Jockey Nathan Berry said he was happy throughout the race.
“He couldn’t have been more impressive,” he said.
“I rode him like the best horse in the race and he proved he was.”
Waller has sourced many horses from Europe over the past few years, originally to bolster his stable numbers.
“Stout Hearted was one that was offered to us,” he said.
“Geoff and Mary Grimish have been great supporters of the stable and it’s great to have another nice horse for them.