In two public appearances there has been nothing to suggest Chris Waller’s unraced colt Earth is a standout two-year-old.
But it’s a rating that could be reassessed if the youngster makes a winning debut in the Schweppes Plate at Canterbury on Wednesday.
That’s because the corresponding Sydney race for the past two years has delivered results that have turned out to be significant for Waller and his premiership-winning stable.
In 2014, Waller produced Brazen Beau to win first-up and he did it at the same meeting 12 months ago with Always Allison.
Both wins marked Waller’s first two-year-old victories for those respective racing seasons.
It’s a stable precedent that will ensure there will be more interest than usual attached to a horse that has been one of the first backed to win the 1100m dash.
On what he has shown in two barrier trial placings, Earth is a promising colt but a first-up win would stamp him as a horse to follow in a stable that has no shortage of stars.
“The last two years our first two-year-old winners have been Always Allison and she went on and won a Group race and Brazen Beau and he was a superstar,” Waller said.
“And I think the year before that it was Zoustar so only our very best are winning as early two-year-olds for us.”
Waller dominates racing in Australia but takes a cautious approach to the two-year-old scene that he says defines him as a trainer.
“It’s hard to change,” he said. “I think it’s just the way we are. We’re soft on them and we gradually let them get there themselves.
“You can see them in the mounting yard. They just don’t have that muscle definition and they’re not wound up.”
Earth has shown natural speed in both barrier trial appearances and the colt, who cost $450,000 as a yearling, was nursed along in finishing third over 900m at Rosehill on January 19.