The meteoric rise of Chris Waller will be acknowledged when the champion Sydney trainer is inducted into Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
In the decade since he trained his first Group One winner, Waller has dominated Sydney racing in the same way Hall of Fame legend Tommy Smith did during his career.
Waller has won the past seven Sydney premierships and Who Shot Thebarman’s win in last month’s Sydney Cup gave the New Zealand-born trainer his 81st Group One success.
He is also the trainer of Winx, the world’s highest-rated racehorse who has won a record-equalling three Cox Plates among her sequence of 25 successive victories.
Waller is also a New Zealand Hall of Fame inductee.
“Knowing my work has basically been done in Australia and to be noticed in Australia … I think it is very, very special (and) emotional,” Waller said.
“Premierships or big races that you win are very, very special and mean a lot at different times of your life or career.
“But to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is the best.”
Former jockeys Malcolm Johnston and WA (Billy) Smith as well as leading Hong Kong trainer John Size will also be inducted.
Johnston was Sydney’s champion jockey three times, the first as an apprentice during the 1975-76 season.
He is also celebrated for his association with Kingston Town, riding the modern-day turf great to 25 of his 30 victories.
Smith enjoyed a 40-year career as a lightweight jockey, winning the 1960 Melbourne Cup on Hi Jinx in the same season he won the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
Size trained out of Randwick before moving to Hong Kong for the 2001-02 season where he has been crowned champion trainer nine times.
Prominent racehorses to be recognised include Aquanita, a weight-for-age star of his era who won the 1962 Cox Plate.
The late Colin Hayes, already a member of the Hall of Fame, will join Phar Lap, Bart Cummings and Tommy Smith in receiving the highest possible accolade as a Legend of the Hall of Fame.
Hayes won 28 Adelaide and 13 Melbourne training premierships in an historic career that included 5333 winners.
The Australian Racing Hall of Fame induction will be held in Sydney on Friday night.
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