Chris Waller’s flying start to the season continued at Canterbury on Wednesday, highlighted by an impressive Australian debut from Studio.
Waller chalked up his 21st city winner in the opening month of the season with Studio, a dual winner in France, part of a winning treble for Sydney’s premier trainer.
Studio strode away to a four length victory in the Riddla Thanks Vilis & Topline Handicap (1550m) and is the first horse Waller has saddled up for Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell’s OTI Racing syndicate.
OTI Racing has had plenty of success with imported horses in Australia, most recently with triple Group One winner Manighar, the middle distance find of last season.
“It’s a good way to start,” Waller said.
“It’s a good crew to have a horse for and Gatewood is coming to us when he finishes his Melbourne preparation.
“Unfortunately he won’t be with us for that but he’s a very exciting horse.”
The John Gosden-trained Gatewood finished second in the Group Two Grand Prix de Deauville (2500m) in France on Sunday and is a Caulfield and Melbourne Cups hopeful.
Waller was cautious in his approach with Studio at Canterbury but was delighted with the entire’s performance which maintained his unbeaten record.
“We’ll just take him through the grades,” Waller said.
“I’ve had a lot of disappointments with imported horses first-up here and I’ve learned not to expect anything.
“But I think the two trials, which he had, do a lot for them.”
Corey Brown had ridden Studio in his trials and was impressed by the way he quickened when asked.
“I didn’t know what he was going to give me when I gave him a squeeze because in his trials I had just been quiet on him,” Brown said.
“I wasn’t sure if he was going to give me that acceleration but he did.”
Brown also won on the Waller-trained Coup Acclaim while Brenton Avdulla was successful aboard stablemate Arinosa.
Meanwhile, David Payne will target the Victoria Derby with Laser Flash after the colt scored a long neck win in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1900m).
“I want to go to the Derby with him,” Payne said.
“He’s a lovely horse but the penny hasn’t dropped with him yet.”