Waller pleased with Cup runners

Chris Waller is pleased with his two Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup runners with the champion trainer rating Finche (GB) higher for the 3200m at Flemington on Tuesday than stablemate Youngstar.

The market agrees with Waller with Finche now the equal favourite with TAB at $8.00 with Mer De Glace  (JPN) while Youngstar is out at $34.00.

Finche prior to, running in the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup
Finche prior to, running in the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Picture: Racing and Sports

"This time last year Youngstar was the horse on everybody's lips and unfortunately her form is not quite as good as it was going into the race this time last year but in saying that, she has run in the right races in terms of building her stamina and I am happy with her from that perspective," said Waller. 

Mer De Glace winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup
Mer De Glace winning the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Picture: Racing and Sports

"Physically she is stronger than she was last year by 20kgs and mentally she is in a great frame of mind. We will be calling on her stamina and hoping to see the improvement necessary in her form, to run in the top three in tomorrow's big race. She has drawn very well in gate nine and in comparison, to last year, she should get a much more economical run," he said.

Youngstar, a five-year-old High Chapparal mare, was third at her last start in the ATC St Leger over 2600m at Randwick on October 19th to Hush Writer (JPN) and Carif with the latter second to Downdraft (IRE) in Saturday's Hotham Stakes at Flemington. Tommy Berry rides. 

"Finche  rates a little bit higher than Youngstar this year and he did run fourth in the race last year when running particularly well after having to do quite a bit of work in the early stages from a wide draw," said Waller. 

"Fortunately, he has the luxury of gate four this year so should have a more economical run which was against him in the Caulfield Cup and under the circumstances he still ran very well considering the extra ground covered.

"His work over the past week has been very good and in saying that, I have not put either him or Youngstar under too much pressure. They have basically been maintained and we have used their racing to get them fit and over the past seven days made sure they are happy and enjoying themselves going into tomorrow's race with plenty of life about them," he said.

Finche, a six-year-old by Frankel, comes to the race off a win in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes over 2000m at Randwick on September 21st followed by a narrow second in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Randwick. Barrier 15 for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup over 2400m on October 19th certainly put extra miles into Finche and he did well to finish sixth under 2L from the winner Mer De Glace.

"We have good jockeys in Tommy Berry and Kerrin McEvoy riding the two horses. Obviously Kerrin's success in this race is unbelievable winning the race three times and Tommy Berry is a confident young man who is going places and no stranger to big race success. It is great to have two local jockeys aboard that do a lot of work for me throughout the season and I hope they get a reward for their hard work on Tuesday," said Waller.

"It is a great privilege to be working with supporting owners such as Finche and Youngstar's, both sets of owners have multiple horses with us. I am looking forward to another great day of racing," he said.

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