With five Rosehill winners on Saturday, the Chris Waller phenomenon surges towards 200 for the season.
Sure, Darren Weir, basically in Victoria, has commendably topped the two- ton mark but Waller (186) is in a tougher league.
For instance, he now has 126 Sydney successes, while Weir is on 71 in Melbourne against strong opposition but hardly the majors like Gai Waterhouse, the Darley operation under John O’Shea and the Hawkes team in superb form.
Waterhouse, Darley and the Hawkes all have Melbourne bases but their strength is in Sydney.
Yet Waller keeps on producing remarkable results from his Rosehill base and has yet to get a handle on the lucrative two-year-old category.
Does the court of public opinion regard the Waller dominance beneficial for Sydney?
‘‘Anyone with half a brain would not be betting in races where a trainer has over 50 per cent of the runners, even Chris doesn’t know what is going to win so how does the punter?’’ – "Warden".
‘‘Monopolies are never a good thing but how do you stop them? You just find something else to do like a huge percentage of racegoers have done, vote with their feet, and they [racing officials] wonder why’’ – "Bronze Bullet".
‘‘If you break up Waller’s winners into seasons. winter is where he trains most of his winners in races between 1200-1900 metres. This winter will be massive for Waller,’’ – "Morecluethanyou".
‘‘Thank you Chris Waller for producing horses that consistently run to their rating.’’ – "Backnlay".
’‘‘Any trainer with that many horses is no good for racing. Chris Waller originally had eight in this race and scratched three. Not even Tommy Smith in his prime would have had that many horses, and add to the fact that this stable has many form turnabouts. It’s a lottery betting in Sydney,’’ – "Heretohelp".
Me? I never thought I’d see the Sydney achievements of Waller. Tommy Smith set the benchmark and as good as the trainers of his era were, Waller’s rivals, mainly due to numbers, provide more opposition.
‘‘Turn off the taps’’, the mantra of form student and bookmaker Rob Waterhouse in regard to irrigating racing surfaces, has been supported by Richard Hughes, a leading jockey in Britain.
‘‘Increasingly, watering is not just damaging racecourses but also racehorses,’’ he wrote in The Racing Post.
‘‘I am not exaggerating when I say it is weakening the thoroughbred breed. As we increasingly race horses on softer ground that was for centuries not the case, we are softening up horses at the same time. Americans are doing it with drugs, we are doing it with watering.’’
Everything, apart from his funeral service on Friday at Warwick Farm, about Guy Walter was understated. Those responsible, including the usually maligned Australian Turf Club, did him proud. With Walter, equine excellence was taken for granted. Surely an award so it isn’t forgotten should be introduced.
Victoria has the Fred Hoysted Medal to honour a former great trainer. Maybe Walter’s crowning achievement was the 2009 Doncaster trifecta and while media darlings usually monopolise awards, Chris Waller would be a worthy initial winner, considering his first four in the same race this year.
Another suggestion came from Stephen McShane, the Gosford Race Club treasurer, who reckons the Chipping Norton should be changed to the ‘‘Guy Walter’’.
‘‘After all the Chipping Norton is only named after a suburb and Guy did leave his mark on the race, winning it four times with Tie The Knot,’’ he enthused.
Two on the team
‘‘Any newspaper outlet that has raised this issue, you only have to look at their lineup to find it [to be] only males and who never discuss breeding,’’ TVL boss Bruce Mann supposedly commented regarding the raceday dismissal of the classy Caroline Searcy.
After taking up the issue in The Sun-Herald recently I’d like to point out The Age in Melbourne, a member of the John Fairfax stable, has a female racing writer, Laura Banks, and when our breeding expert, John Holloway, is on holidays, Tara Madgewick takes up the reins on his column.
Mann is entitled to his opinion and holds the whip hand at TVN.
His male talent is as good as it gets but Searcy added variety in the opinion of one that’s been in the racing media since probably before Mann was born.
Horse to follow
Masthead, the Singapore discard now with Chris Waller, was three wide throughout and lost a near hind plate before being beaten a neck in the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.ememem
Havana, one of the top fancies starting at $6, finished 15th in the Queensland Guineas at Eagle farm on Saturday.
The story Opinion an each-way bet as Chris Waller heads towards 200 wins first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.