The Randwick Timeform recap featuring a race by race overview of key performers and ones to watch from the Epsom Day meeting on October 5.
Chris Waller stole the show with six winners through the nine race card, three of which came in the Group 1’s on the program. The leading Sydney trainer had a day to remember on Saturday, winning seven stakes events across Randwick and Flemington.
Race 4: Funstar - Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m)
Funstar was a dominant winner against Probabeel in what was largely considered a match race.
While Probabeel loomed up on the turn, James McDonald was travelling aboard Funstar and what ensued was the equal third largest winning margin of the Flight Stakes dating back to 1980.
Lotteria boasts the biggest winning margin of a Flight Stakes when she put seven lengths on her nearest rival in the 2004 renewal.
In winning the Flight Stakes on Saturday, Funstar became the sixth horse in the past 11 years to claim the Tea Rose Stakes - Flight Stakes double.
The daughter of Adelaide produced a Timeform rating of 117+ on Saturday, right on the prior five year winning average of the event.
Saturday marked Chris Waller’s first Flight Stakes victory having trained three runners up of the event, Winx (2014), Sezanne (2016) and Fiesta (2018).
Race 5: Brutal - Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m)
With the ultimate goal of the Golden Eagle, Brutal is closing in on being the first horse to get there via The Everest after his first up success in the Premiere Stakes.
A winner of the Doncaster Mile last autumn, the O’Reilly entire accounted for a small but select field of sprinters on Saturday which included the Everest bound Classique Legend.
It was a highly encouraging first up display by Brutal, achieving the result despite running a pound shy of his master Timeform rating recorded when second to Winx in the 2019 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Home Of The Brave surprised in producing the better run from the Godolphin pair as Osborne Bulls pulled up sore.
Classique Legend’s third came in below what he produced fresh when a half length second to Pierata in The Shorts.
The Doncaster - Premiere Stakes double which Brutal has recorded this year on profile looks a rare and unlikely one to claim.
That is certainly the case however Triple Honour achieved the feat for Chris Waller in 2008 - Waller's first ever Group 1 winner who was partnered by Glen Boss.
Race 6: Verry Elleegant - Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m)
Verry Elleegant continues to be her own worst enemy.
The daughter of Zed once again overraced however managed to get away with it.
While still yet to reach peak figures achieved in the autumn, Verry Elleegant with a late dive delivered as favourite over a gallant Samadoubt.
The Caulfield Cup is next for the mare with Descarado in 2010 the last horse to claim the Hill Stakes - Caulfield Cup double.
She is the first mare to claim the Hill Stakes so far this decade and is Chris Waller’s fourth winner of the event, following in the footsteps of Moriarty (2013), Junoob (2014) and Preferment (2015).
Life Less Ordinary was stepped up sharply in trip from his first up outing and responded well to run third.
The veteran import could potentially stay in Sydney for the $500,000 Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Everest Day.
Race 7: Kolding - Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m)
Kolding was given a peach of a ride by Glen Boss who got the son of Ocean Park box seating from an awkward draw.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding likely found himself in front earlier than expected when taking over from Dreamforce at the 350m however still did enough late to hold off a closing Te Akau Shark.
The victory provided Chris Waller with his fourth Epsom Handicap winner after winning the race for three straight years between 2013 and 2015 with Boban, He’s Your Man and Winx.
Kolding has now won six of his seven starts since being gelded and is the first horse to claim the Bill Ritchie Handicap - Epsom Handicap double since Boban in 2013.
Of Waller’s previous Epsom winners, Kolding certainly has a profile closest to Boban who also started to realise his potential late in his three-year-old season.
After winning the Bill Ritchie Handicap - Epsom Handicap double, Boban then ventured to Melbourne where he won both the Moonga Stakes and the Emirates Stakes.
The addition of big prizemoney races into the back end of the Sydney spring carnival such as the Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on November 2 means Kolding will likely remain at home for one more run this prep, contesting the event four weeks after Saturday’s Epsom.
That said, the Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 19 would potentially fit Kolding’s schedule. If he doesn’t go there, third placegetter Star Of The Seas could represent the stable.
Giving Kolding 4kg at the weights, the fast finishing Te Akau Shark impressed and is now Cox Plate bound.
Three horses in the past 20 years have won the Cox Plate after contesting the Epsom Handicap earlier during the spring, Sunline (4th, 1999), Pinker Pinker (2nd, 2011) and Winx (winner, 2015).
Race 8: Come Play With Me - Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m)
The West Australian galloper was given a dream run by Brenton Avdulla who positioned the son of Blackfriars midfield and one off the fence.
The five-year-old burst through the pack approaching the 100m and edged to the front with Gallic Chieftain in hot pursuit.
Come Play With Me has clearly thrived at the Chris Waller stable however is not entered for either the Caulfield or Melbourne Cups.
He is another Chris Waller Group 1 winner from Saturday who may have his next run in Sydney with the $500,000 St Leger Stakes (2600m) on Everest Day shaping as a suitable option.
Chris Waller has now taken out The Metropolitan on three occasions with The Verminator (2011) and Opinion (2014) his other winners.
Kolding (NZ) and Te Akau Shark (NZ), picture Stevehart.com.au