Trainer Chris Waller has decided to keep Funstar for the George Ryder Stakes but will still have a powerful presence when he tries to win his first Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Waller has nominated Subpoenaed, Madam Rouge and Hungry Heart for the Coolmore Classic, one of the few Sydney majors to have eluded the Hall of Fame trainer.
Funstar had been the early Coolmore favourite but with the mare out of the big race, the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained filly Forbidden Love is now the $6 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds ahead of Melbourne mare Chaillot at $9 with Subpoenaed on the next line of betting at $11.
Waller said Funstar will be reserved for the George Ryder Stakes on Golden Slipper Day as it’s a more suitable lead-up race into the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 3.
“The Doncaster looks the right race for Funstar,’’ Waller explained.
“But Subpoenaed is a good mare who has come back well (winning the Millie Fox Stakes) first-up and she has had a nice trial since.
“Madam Rouge ran last Saturday (sixth in the Canterbury Stakes) and she could back up in the Coolmore.
“Hungry Heart is going well enough, she just needs a barrier and a race run to suit and she will be fine.’’
The Coolmore Classic has attracted 21 entries with Sweet Deal and Mizzy co-topweights with 58kg. Forbidden Love has been allocated 54.5kg.
Waller is hoping to bolster his Golden Slipper team with Shaquero and Head Of State nominated for the Group 3 $175,000 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m).
Head Of State must win to qualify for the Golden Slipper while Shaquero is a borderline entry.
“We need to work out with Shaquero if he needs to run to get into the Slipper field – if not we will trial him on Monday,’’ Waller said.
“Head Of State is more than likely to be heading towards the Sires at Randwick but we will see how he goes on Saturday.’’
Waller already has Silver Slipper winner Home Affairs and O’President, winner of the Skyline Stakes, safely in the Golden Slipper field.
But the trainer hasn’t locked in his Golden Slipper riders yet with premier jockey James McDonald expected to test Shaquero or Head Of State in the Pago Pago Stakes.
McDonald is also in the mix for either Home Affairs and O’President as a possible Slipper ride.
Originally published asWaller relying on star trio to finally win Coolmore
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