Chris Waller completed the first stage of a long-term plan when he secured a package of 10 horses from the NZB Premier Sale at Karaka on Monday and Tuesday.
Purchased under the Chris Waller Racing banner, the majority of the yearlings will be educated and pre-trained in New Zealand before joining the Waller stable for a concerted attack on Australia’s three year-old classics in 2014-15.
“Chris organised a group of his existing stable clients to put together a syndicate to specifically target the Derby and Oaks races in each Australian state,” Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior said. “We came to Karaka with a specific budget for the project and it goes without saying we’re delighted to have secured some well bred, athletic types with the characteristics we look for in a classic yearling.”
The syndicate comprises a number of well known owners including Debbie and Paul Kepitis, Frank and Christine Cook, Bruce Mathieson and Rick Smith who are involved in the ownership of several of the imported European stayers in the Waller team including Kelinni who placed fourth in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
“Chris was also looking for one or two yearlings with the specific aim of competing in the rich Karaka Million at Ellerslie in twelve months time,” said Prior. “We’ve bought a precocious Choisir – Rogan’s Gem filly that we think fits the bill for this particular syndicate.”
At the completion of the Premier sale, Waller had purchased 10 yearlings for a total of $1.49 million. They were all reasonably priced with top-dollar just $230,000 for the Pentire colt from Kainui Belle who was a G2 winner of the Eight Carat Classic and Wellington Guineas.
Waller is an expat Kiwi and has around 100 horses in work in Sydney and will commence operations at his new Melbourne base in a few weeks.
“We have 10 boxes at Flemington for use when we undertake a Melbourne campaign with any members of our Sydney team,” said Prior. “At this stage it looks like Foreteller will be our first runner from the new set-up when he runs in the Australian Cup in March.”