Triple Honour is already a Group One winner but trainer Chris Waller believes the best is still ahead of him as he enters his five-year-old season.
The winner of the 2008 Doncaster Handicap as a three-year-old, Triple Honour has struggled to recapture that form and with his constitution. Whether he has the staying power to step up and win against a strong 2009 Cox Plate Field; beyond 2000m is yet to be seen.
Waller said keeping Triple Honour at his racing weight had been the hardest task but he believed the gelding was now holding his condition as he should.
“Keeping the weight on him has been the biggest problem,” Waller said.
“He is one of those horses that just doesn’t eat enough.
“But halfway through his last preparation he picked up and was the best he’s been condition wise.
“It’s been an immaturity thing with him and I’ve always thought he would be better as he got older.”
Triple Honour had a chequered time in this year’s Doncaster (1600m) but held on well for eighth, less than two lengths from the winner Vision And Power.
He was unlucky again in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes won by Pompeii Ruler, doing his best work late when 1-1/4 lengths seventh.
Waller stepped him up to 2000 metres in the Queen Elizabeth and Doomben Cup but said he believed he was at his best at a mile (1600m).
The trainer has not yet confirmed which direction Triple Honour’s Spring Carnival tickets campaign will take but has increased his workload in preparation for his return.
“He went three-quarter pace in a gallop on Saturday morning,” Waller said.
“I think he is an ideal 1600 metre horse but haven’t worked out his spring campaign yet.
“He will trial soon and then we will see where we are.”
Triple Honour’s Premiere Stakes win in August was his only victory for the season, but important in the overall tally of the stable’s 61-1/2 winners in Sydney so far this term.
Waller cemented himself as the number three trainer behind Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowden last season with 42 city victories and holds the same spot this time around.
Waterhouse is maintaining her edge over Snowden with four meetings left.
Article by Caryl Williamson Aapracing