Waller Pays Tribute To Astute Durrant

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Champion trainer Chris Waller says he owes much of Come Play With Me’s success in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday to leading Perth trainer Adam Durrant.

Durrant sent the five-year-old to Waller’s Rosehill stable following his win in the Swan River Vase at Belmont in July, where he beat subsequent Group 1 winner Gatting.

It was a significant win for Durrant’s family with his father Geoff breeding the gelding, while his mother Vicki is the owner.

Waller said it was a brave a decision by Durrant to send Come Play With Me across the Nullarbor, one which he said was vindicated on Saturday.

“Well done to Adam and his team for sending him over,” he told TABradio.

“It’s not an easy thing to do to take on the eastern states horses.

“It’s a pleasure to train a horse like that for someone like Adam.

“He certainly knows his business.”

The son of Blackfriars held off a fast-finishing Gallic Chieftain in the $750,000 event to score the biggest win of his career to date.

It capped off a memorable day for Waller, who took out the other three Group 1 races on the day around Australia.

Waller, who has now trained 109 Group 1 winners, said Come Play With Me would likely stay in Sydney, rather than pay a late entry fee for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

“I think we’d go to a race called the St Leger,” he said.

“To try and knock that one off would be the most realistic race for him.

“From a Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup situation, I’m not even sure we’ve got him nominated.

“We might pick up some more money in the St Leger.”

The St Leger (2600m) is worth $600,000 and is run at Randwick on October 19, the same day as the $14 million Everest.

Fellow West Australian Arcadia Queen will line up in the Everest on October 19 and Waller said the star mare would round out her preparations with a race day gallop at Randwick on Saturday.

“She had a gallop this morning,” he said.

“That was an important piece of work for her and she worked very well for James McDonald.

“She will probably have an exhibition gallop at the races on Saturday to tidy up her Everest preparation.”

www.rwwa.com.au

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