Chris Waller is banking on a combination of Doncaster Mile form lines and fresh legs to extend his autumn carnival dominance in Saturday’s $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.
Weight of numbers prevailed for the premier trainer in the Doncaster when he produced the first four horses across the line.
He will again have the percentages in his favour when he saddles up almost half of the 12-horse field for the richest race of the autumn carnival.
Four of them will back up from last Saturday’s feature Mile – the winner Sacred Falls, runner-up Royal Descent, fourth placed Hawkspur and My Kingdom Of Fife who finished 10th.
Boban rounds out his team after being scratched from Randwick last Saturday due to the heavy track.
In a race which brings together the cream of middle-distance talent in the country, Waller’s approach has been to have his horses rising to 2000 metres for the first time this campaign on Saturday – Boban for the first time in his career.
But for Silent Achiever and It’s A Dundeel who has been backed into favouritism since Tuesday’s barrier draw, the Queen Elizabeth presents a test of a different kind.
The pair finished first and second respectively in The BMW (2400m) and must adapt to the shorter Queen Elizabeth journey.
Waller says that challenge is just as significant as the task faced by two of his team, Boban and Sacred Falls, who have established themselves as two of the best milers in Australia but are unproven over the distance of the Queen Elizabeth.
“My gut feeling is that Boban will be fine over the 2000 but I’m still concerned about the (wet) track,” Waller said.
“Sacred Falls has won two Doncaster Miles at Randwick and he attacked the line in both of those.
“I think some of the others would be worried about running a sharp 2000 metres.
“It’s going to be a very interesting race this year.”
Carlton House has been easy in betting this week and is now a $4.40 second pick behind It’s A Dundeel ($3.80).
He has not raced since his narrow second to Silent Achiever in the Ranvet Stakes last month, although he was kept up to the mark with a subsequent 1250m barrier trial at Randwick.
The 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon also comes to the race with fresh legs having last raced in the Australian Cup on March 8 when he finished second to Fiorente.
Waller said that while 2011 winner My Kingdom Of Fife needed to lift, he could not split his remaining runners.
“It’s almost impossible”.