iskander

Waller wary of Premiere pace


Trainer Chris Waller believes the withdrawal of frontrunner Keen Commander from Saturday’s Premiere Stakes will completely change the complexion of the Group Two race.

The stakeswinner has an elevated temperature and will not run in the Rosehill feature and with dual Group One winner Mentality a doubtful starter, Waller doesn’t know where the speed is going to come from.

Waller welcomes back his Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour in the 1200-metre event and was banking on the Denise McGrath-trained Keen Commander setting a solid tempo up front.

"I can’t see a clear leader now and it’s certainly going to alter the way the race is run," Waller said.

"I was looking for Keen Commander to lead and bring us into the race but I’ll have to sit down and have a good look at the speed now."

Triple Honour Doncaster Win The John Hawkes-trained Mentality has previously scored all-the-way victories, including wins in the 2006 Champagne Stakes and the Canterbury Stakes this April.

But the gelding would be an unlikely starter if rain hits Rosehill.

Mentality beat only one runner home in his last-start 19th in the Doncaster Handicap on a heavy track.

Stable representative Michael Hawkes said there was some doubt about the five-year-old starting on Saturday.

"He won his trial the other day and looks good in himself but Dad is still a little undecided on whether he’ll run," Hawkes said.

Waller celebrated his first Group One victory with the Doncaster Handicap win and Triple Honour will be out to become the first horse since the great Super Impose to complete the Randwick mile double in the Epsom Handicap in October.

International jockey Glen Boss, who returned from Hong Kong this week, rode Triple Honour in the Doncaster Handicap and can’t wait to get back on board on Saturday.

Boss is confident that Triple Honour can bolster his impressive first-up record.

"I saw him at the track the other day and he looks like he’s put on some nice weight around the shoulder and the rear-end department," Boss said.

"He’s got great first-up form, unbeaten from three goes, and had a good trial."

Two starts before his Doncaster Handicap victory Triple Honour got within a nose of superstar Weekend Hussler in the Randwick Guineas, a run that told Boss a lot about his mount.

"Some people thought his second to Weekend Hussler was a bad run but I thought it was a great run and it was the one that convinced me he could win the Doncaster," Boss said.

By Russell Jackson AAP TURF