Waller banking on Stradbroke sequence

Chris Waller is hoping his recent Stradbroke pattern continues at Eagle Farm on Saturday when Shellscrape takes aim in Queensland’s premier race.

“I have had three (Stradbroke) runners in the past three years,” the Rosehill trainer said.

“Mr Ubiquitous finished fourth three years ago, Double Dare was third two years ago and Danleigh finished second last year.”

Shellscrape goes into the $1 million 1400m event dropping to 50.5kg after competing at weight-for-age in his past two starts in Brisbane, including a 2-1/4 length sixth in the Group One Doomben 10,000 (1350m).

The three-year-old drew barrier 12 at Wednesday’s barrier draw but will come in three gates if the emergencies all come out.

“It’s not an ideal barrier but I don’t think it matters too much in a Stradbroke,” Waller said.

“There’s genuine speed and they all seem to find their positions and get every chance.

“He drops to a luxury weight of 50.5 kilos and he’s a straight-forward horse to ride for (apprentice) Tim Bell.”
The trainer said Shellscrape’s Doomben 10,000 run was a reaction to his performance in the BTC Cup a start earlier when the colt led the field before finishing eighth.

“Last start he pulled quite hard as a result (of his BTC Cup run) but he’ll switch off now that he’s had that run over the 1350 metres.”
Waller will head to Stradbroke day looking to build on what has already been an outstanding winter carnival.

His haul has included stakes wins to Metal Bender (Doomben Cup, Hollindale Stakes), Pressday (Sires’ Produce Stakes, Champagne Classic), Triple Honour (Eagle Farm Cup) and Stryker (BTC Classic).

Waller also has in-form two-year-old Pressday in the Group One TJ Smith (1600m) on Saturday along with stablemate American Crew.

Pressday has won the Champagne Classic and Sires Produce Stakes in consecutive starts.

“I think any horse at that level trying to win three in a row over a four-week period is going to find it hard to do,” Waller said.

“He’s done an amazing job so far. We just want one more race out of him now.”
Pressday drew barrier six for the TJ Smith which Waller said would suit the colt as he steps to 1600m for the first time.