By Glenn Davis
Chris Waller has been a dominant figure in recent Rough Habit Plate history but some of the locals are hoping to halt the champion trainer’s charge in the Group 3 feature at Doomben on Saturday.
Waller has won three of the past six Rough Habit Plates (2000m) and is hoping to make it four with his dual representatives Dealmaker and Borazon.
His first win was with Hawkspur in 2013 followed by Sadler’s Luck (2015) and Mackintosh (2016).
In latest TAB markets, Dealmaker is a $1.85 favourite with Borazon at $12.
Leading Queensland trainer Tony Gollan won the Rough Habit with Amexed in 2014 and is hoping to deny Waller another win with A Man To Match and Light Up The Room.
Queensland’s other main hope is the Matt Kropp-trained Trusty Lad who has clashed several times with A Man To Match.
A Man To Match and Trusty Lad are Queensland Derby bound while Light Up The Room is headed to the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2000m) next month.
Gollan is delighted with both his pair but was disappointed when Light Up The Room drew the outside barrier.
Light Up The Room was beaten three lengths when sixth to Baccarat Baby in the Listed Princess Stakes while A Man To Match also finished sixth to Gem Song at his last appearance in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm last month.
“Light Up The Room’s last run was very good and all going well she’ll go on to the Queensland Oaks,” Gollan said.
“She got a long way back in the Princess Stakes and then had to go up on the inside which didn’t suit her.
“Both of my runners profile well and A Man To Match is progressing really well.
“His best range is 2000 metres and further and he’s had two runs back now and is getting fitter with every run.”
Dealmaker will be making his Queensland debut and Gollan rates him as the main threat to his pair.
Dealmaker is a son of six-times Group 1 winner Dundeel and was placed at his past two starts in last month’s Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes and Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick.
Meanwhile Kropp believes Trusty Lad is set to run a big race after finishing eighth behind Gem Song in the Gunsynd Classic.
“He probably got further back than we hoped but he’s on track for this race,” Kropp said.
“There’s not much between a lot of these runners and luck in running with play a big part.”
Racing Queensland webnews May 10