Chris roots


Man with a plan: premier trainer chris waller celebrates another winner last month.

Man with a plan: Premier trainer Chris Waller celebrates another winner last month. Photo: Jenny Evans

The Chris Waller yard has developed a reputation as the United Nations of stables as it has grown to become not only the premier outfit in Sydney but in the country.

One of the pioneers of bringing European horses to Australia on a mass scale, Waller is set to reverse the process if he takes a team to Europe this year with a focus on Royal Ascot.

Star colt Zoustar should lead an assault that could include Red Tracer and a couple of others.

"Nothing is finalised yet because they have to perform in autumn for us to go," Waller said.

His stable has taken years to build and Waller always talks of his system, and knows its strengths and weaknesses. However, it has been the imports which have caught a lot of the attention.

"We are winning 165 races a year and a lot of them tend to be European horses, but it would only be 20 per cent max," Waller said. "We are winning a lot of races, but it sticks out that we have a lot of imports and it sticks out we don't have a lot of two-year-olds. But we have a lot of older horses because we look after our two-year-olds."

Waller believes the strength of the stable has become its size when it comes to getting an overall view of it and his staff, which are drawn from around the world. "We have some outstanding international staff as well as the Australians and New Zealanders," Waller said. "I get to utilise their skills and knowledge, which can be different.

"The system shows up weakness in our stable. The thing is with 100 horses there are so many things you can weigh up that you can't do when you have 20 horses, it was just a guessing game then.

"For instance, you can do a blood on one horse that's fine but we do bloods on 10 to 15 horses, so we get an overall view of what is going on in the stable. That's an advantage, as well as having great staff."

It is a light day for Waller on Saturday, he opted not to run two-year-old Brazen Beau in the Silver Slipper "because it looked too tough a race," but the Parramatta Cup has him saddling four imports, bred in France, Ireland and Britain.

"They just suit our training style because we are very soft on our horses. We let the imports find their level," Waller said.

"They find their fitness level themselves and we don't crunch them and they tend to like that. They like a soft approach.''

Each have earned a place in the listed race, Permit and Junoob have won their past two. Bayrir might be a maiden in Australia but has run in an Arc de Triomphe, while Opinion was sent to Waller from syndicator Highclere.

"We have bought a lot of imports but this race is different because we haven't bought any of them," Waller said.

There is no trick to Waller preparing his imports but he does treat them as individuals.

"They have all got their quirks, in particular Permit," Waller said.

"He's the slowest horse we have got and I won't offend the owners by saying that. He cannot beat a horse in a trial and he can't beat a horse on the training track.

"So we have given up trying and we just send him to the races and he just beats horses.

"He loses form and he finds it again. It is unexplainable.

"He is a genuine horse, he started a deserved favourite in a Sydney Cup. But he will shut himself down if something is not right and he did it that day."

Red Tracer makes her return in Saturday's Millie Fox Stakes after a successful spring capped by winning the Myer Classic. She is joined by another of Waller's guns in Royal Descent, but the two mares are on different paths.

''Red Tracer is a good example of our system, she showed ability as a two-year-old but didn't race until she was three," Waller said.

"She ran second in the Light Fingers and Surround Stakes and won a P.J. Bell and James Carr as a three-year-old, but because we weren't too hard on her she has got better and better.

"We would love to take her over to Europe if she shows she can run a strong mile during the carnival."

Royal Descent is likely to have a light autumn after running a close-up fifth in the Caulfield Cup.

"That three-year-old year took a lot out of her and I was the first one to say that in the spring," he said. "The Coolmore is her aim and if she can win that she could get through to a Doncaster or Queen Elizabeth."