Danleigh kick-started Chris Waller’s stellar Group One season with victory in last year’s Manikato Stakes and the sprinter-miler will again be among the early spring hopes for the stable.
Waller prepared five Group One winners during 2009-10 and with an inquiry pending over a positive swab returned by Galaxy winner Ortensia, his tally could be raised to six if the race is awarded to runner-up Shellscrape.
Although he hasn’t ruled another tilt at the Manikato for Danleigh, Waller is keen to keep him in Sydney, bearing in mind the horse will be a new-season seven-year-old.
Danleigh, who also won the George Ryder Stakes in the autumn, will continue his build-up to a spring return in a barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday.
“He will have two barrier trials leading into the Missile Stakes at the end of the month,” Waller said.
“He is a hard horse to get a line on in his work but Hugh Bowman rode him in a gallop on the course proper at Rosehill on Saturday morning and was happy with him.
“The Manikato is not out of the question but the plan is to keep Danleigh in Sydney for the Warwick Stakes after the Missile then go to the Chelmsford and the George Main Stakes.
“He is a good Group One horse and we want to look after him so the plan is to keep him at home.”
Bowman is due back to the Sydney riding ranks this week after an overseas holiday.
He rode Danleigh to win the George Ryder but will have a decision to make by the time the Warwick Stakes comes around on August 21.
“Danleigh will clash with Metal Bender in the Warwick Stakes,” Waller said.
“Triple Honour will also run in the race.”
Bowman rode Metal Bender to win the Hollindale Stakes but missed the winning Doomben Cup mount because of suspension.
Kerrin McEvoy, who also won the Manikato on Danleigh, was successful in the Doomben feature.
McEvoy is currently sidelined with injury after a fall in the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford last month.
Triple Honour ran second in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Bowman aboard but Larry Cassidy took the ride when he ran third in the Doomben Cup and again when he returned to winning form in the Group Two Eagle Farm Cup.
That victory was the 2008 Doncaster winner’s first since he took out the Premiere Stakes in August the same year.
A treble to Waller at Rosehill on Saturday put him nine wins behind Peter Snowden in the Sydney trainers’ premiership race but he said he had no hope of catching the Darley trainer with five meetings remaining.
“Peter would have to stop training now for me to win,” Waller said.
Article by Caryl Williamson Aapracing