Waller takes low-key approach with Bayrir
Bayrir has earned a reputation as a genuine international racehorse but trainer Chris Waller insists there will be much guesswork surrounding the import’s Australian debut.
As a member of leading French trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre’s team, Bayrir was given his chance at the highest level in Group One races in three countries last year.
But even though there has been strong pre-post support for Bayrir at Rosehill on Saturday, Waller is keeping first-up expectations in check.
Perhaps the only horse racing at the meeting considered to have genuine spring Group One claims, Bayrir will make his Australian debut in the $100,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m).
Bayrir’s CV is impressive as a United States Grade One winner, a runner in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a midfield finisher in the Hong Kong Vase.
Yet Waller says there is still much to learn about a horse which hasn’t raced at a distance below 1800m in an eight-start career which has delivered four wins.
“I’m sure he will get to the level we want him to but whether that is in the spring or the autumn I don’t know,” Waller said.
“He’s been with us for a while and we have given him plenty of time but he might be one of those horses who might be a next-preparation horse.
“Against that he did a good job as a three-year-old around the world which is always a good test. He wasn’t sheltered in his own backyard.”
Waller likens Bayrir in type to the progeny left by the breed-shaping dual hemisphere sire Danehill.
It’s an observation which promises to be good news for punters who have already backed the five-year-old from $6.50 to $4.80 in early Winter Challenge wagering.
“He’s a tidy, compact horse,” Waller said.
“I’d say he’s a Danehill-type which is quite good because it will help him in the shorter distances. It should give him a bit of speed.”
Bayrir, a Hugh Bowman mount, has been given two barrier trials and was kept under restraint each time.
“They have been soft trials and it is hard to get a good read on him because he hasn’t been let go yet,” Waller said.
Waller will also run Coup Ay Tee ($6) and Wazn ($12) in the Winter Challenge for which Under The Sun is the $3.20 favourite.