Waller's strong hand in Festival Stakes
Chris Waller has been buoyed by the recent form of Love And Kisses and Vintedge who will both take part in the Festival Stakes at Rosehill.
The 1500m Listed feature on Saturday is a forerunner to the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 19, the aim for both mares.
Love And Kisses claimed a welcome and overdue win at Rosehill on November 14 while Vintedge has run close thirds at her first two runs this preparation.
Group One-placed in the 2008 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes won by Sebring, Love And Kisses raced in the highest company at three but fell just short of the topliners headed by Samantha Miss.
"She deserves a chance at a race like this," Waller said.
"She has been the bridesmaid so many times.
"I tried to keep her away from the colts and geldings and then she came out last start and beat them."
The win was Love And Kisses’ second from 18 starts which have also netted seven placings.
Vintedge’s most recent third was to Lyncean Academy, equal topweight along with Rabbuka and Rockwood with 58kg in the Festival.
Theophorus ran second to Lyncean Academy and has 57.5kg for the Festival with Love And Kisses on 54kg and Vintedge on 53kg.
"Vintedge has come up great, I’m really excited about the way she is," Waller said.
"She is improving all the time and I think she can take the next step this preparation."
Waller will also saddle up youngster Al Aseel in the two-year-old handicap (1100m).
A close second to stablemate Musheer in a barrier trial on November 24, Al Aseel is a son of Group One winner Shamekha and the first of her progeny to get to the races.
By Forestry, Al Aseel was conceived in the United States to southern hemisphere time and is raced by the Emirates Park Syndicate.
Shamekha was originally sent to America to be mated with Storm Cat but that did not eventuate.
She has since returned to Australia and Emirates Park where she has produced two more colts by Redoute’s Choice and Encosta De Lago and is in foal to Fastnet Rock.
By Caryl Williamson