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Although he has won the past two Coolmore Stud Stakes, trainer Chris Waller is not holding out too much hope for No.3.

Waller will saddle up two well-credentialled runners, Japonisme and Counterattack, but concedes something needs to go wrong with the favourite Exosphere for either to have a chance.

Both ran in the Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) won by the Godolphin colt at Randwick on October 3 with Japonisme third and Counterattack fifth.

But it was the manner of Exosphere’s arrogant 3-1/4 length win that dampened Waller’s hopes of a Coolmore upset.

“I was blown away by Exosphere at Randwick,” Waller said.

“My two will have to improve to beat him and he needs to do something wrong.

“But strange things can happen in racing. At the beginning of the season we all thought Vancouver would be unbeatable and he didn’t come up.”

Counterattack, a brother to two Waller-trained Group One winners, Shellscrape and Red Tracer, is raced by his breeders Geoff and Mary Grimish.

After the Roman Consul, Counterattack bounced back to winning form in the Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick.

Japonisme, who races in the Ingham family’s famous cerise, began his campaign in July after being gelded.

He won four straight in Sydney including the Group Three San Domenico Stakes before finishing behind Exosphere in the Run To The Rose and the Roman Consul.

Both Counterattack and Japonisme have been given jump-outs on the straight track at Flemington to prepare them for Saturday’s race.

Whether that will be enough remains to be seen with Exosphere the TAB’s $1.40 favourite and the only runner under double figures.

Counterattack is at $15 and Japonisme $21.

 
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