Australia’s champion trainer Chris Waller has indicated his new Gold Coast stable will provide the perfect platform from which to launch an assault on future Queensland carnivals.
The Bart Cummings Award-winner and trainer of champion mare, Winx, now has 18 horses under the watchful eye of Paul Shailer at the Gold Coast.
The team had taken some time to find its feet but has now saddled-up five metropolitan winners since the start of the new season.
Traditionally, Waller has relied on Brisbane trainers making room in their stables to have a tilt at the Summer and Winter carnivals.
“The (Queensland) trainers have been very helpful but if you’re looking to bring 10 horses to Queensland you can’t expect a trainer at the Gold Coast or Eagle Farm to make way for you,” he said.
“It’s going fantastically well. We are not here to tread on any toes. We are here to complement our business in Sydney and try to help our owners find an extra win, or two.
“The stable will be important to help us be strong during the (Winter) Carnival, which is a big part of the Australian calendar.”
Waller gave the new-look Summer Carnival - which will this year feature more than $14 million in prize money, and $1.6 million in Summer Crown bonuses - the thumbs-up.
“I can see Queensland is pushing hard to boost its Summer Carnival and we see it getting better every year, and we see that it’s a big part of an owner’s portfolio of getting some extra prize money” Waller said.
“I think prize money will go from strength to strength and Queensland can follow in the footsteps of New South Wales.”
Waller looks set to saddle-up six runners at Saturday’s Doomben meeting, including Queensland newcomer Torgersen.
The gelding returned to the winners’ stall for the first time since December 2015, when he beat home Dreams Aplenty and Dream Finnish in an Open Handicap at the Gold Coast last start.
Waller said “confidence is the key” and again pointed to Winx beginning her 21-run streak of victories in the Sunshine State.
“We’re finding they’re thriving in the warmer weather and we’re finding that once they find some confidence they’re winning good races,” Waller said.
“Confidence is the key. We go back to Winx … confidence is a great thing not just for people but for horses.”