Opposition no danger to Triple Honour says Waller
The state of the track and not the opposition stand in the way of Triple Honour claiming his second weight-for-age victory in the Doomben Cup.
That’s the only concern confronting Sydney trainer Chris Waller ahead of Saturday’s 2020-metre Group One feature.
However, Waller’s fears could already have be allayed after course manager Warren Williams turned on the sprinklers on Thursday, adding 15 millimetres of water despite a forecast from the Brisbane weather bureau for an overnight shower.
"The track is a good three after watering it but there’s a chance we’ll get a shower tonight," Williams said.
"If we don’t get any rain I’ll have a look at it again tomorrow and see whether we need to water it again."
Waller still has reservations whether Triple Honour is a genuine weight-for-age performer and is yet to be convinced he can handle a middle distance.
Triple Honour, who gave Waller his first Group One success in last year’s Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick, has won only once in seven attempts at weight-for-age.
That was in the 2008 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.
However, Waller is still supremely confident the four-year-old can provide him with his third Group One win since he began training eight years ago.
"The only danger to him is the track," Waller said.
"If he doesn’t jar up he’ll win."
Champion jockey Damien Oliver will ride Triple Honour for the first time, replacing Jay Ford who finished seventh on the gelding last start in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Anzac Day.
Ford is in Singapore to ride champion sprinter Takeover Target in Sunday’s Group One KrisFlyer Sprint at Kranji.
Waller is looking for his biggest payday in Queensland since he first sent runners north a few years ago.
"The biggest win I’ve had in Queensland was a Listed race with Magically," Waller said.
Magically’s win was in the Listed Juanmo Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm in 2007.
Waller believes the lack of weight-for-age depth in the Doomben Cup will help his six-time winner overcome any disadvantage.
"He still needs to improve after his Queen Elizabeth Stakes run to win this but it’s not a strong weight-for-age race," Waller said.
"He’ll need to improve a lot more to be a weight-for-age performer if he’s to run in those types of races in Sydney and Melbourne during the spring.
"He’s still a little immature and is about six months away from reaching that level.
"I never thought at the start of this preparation he’d be running in a weight-for-age race over 2000 metres."
Triple Honour failed to land successive Doncaster Handicaps at Randwick last month but was beaten less than two lengths when eighth to Vision And Power.
Triple Honour has not won since his Premiere Stakes triumph in August last year.
By Glenn Davis