Exciting prospect can halt Waller's out of character run

Clinton Payne - Thursday July 27

Champion trainer Chris Waller has dominated the late season juvenile races in recent years but 2017 has been lean – this Saturday he brings the impressive debut winner D'argento to town for the Rydalmere CBC 2YO Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill.

D'Argento after his debut win at Newcastle. Photo: Bradley Photographers

In the past three seasons Waller won 12 two-year-old races during July while this year Calculated is his sole juvenile city winner for the month with one meeting left before the season ends.

D'argento, a son of So You Think, defeated the Snowdens' highly regarded Smartedge when they clashed on debut at Newcastle on July 15.

Smartedge was the subject of a strong betting push, firming from $2.60 into $1.80. The son of Smart Missile looked the winner when surging to the front in the straight but D'argento was too strong over the latter stages and overhauled it in the final stride.

"He was a good winner and the race rated well," Waller said on his weekly You Tube preview 'Stable Talk'.

"It might have only been at Newcastle but two-year-olds can find some very strong formlines behind them and I think that Newcastle race will be a race to follow."

D'argento steps up from 1200 to 1500 metres on Saturday but his trainer says the booking of premier rider Hugh Bowman and genetics point to the distance increase being within reach.

"I think he'll get the horse to switch off perfectly," Waller said. "From a genetics point of view I think it will help him being by So You Think.

"His two-year-olds are pretty versatile. He's had that first-up run and a couple of trials prior to that so he should be seasoned and ready to run."

Waller is also looking forward to his staying prospect Zourkhan returning to the races after an absence from the racetrack of 49-days.

The import had his last start when narrowly beaten by Bullish Stock at Flemington on June 10 but his trainer says fitness won't be an issue for the Schweppes Benchmark 85 Handicap (2000m).

"It's been a frustrating prep, he's had to have gaps between runs, just little things, nothing serious," he said.

"The horse is in good shape and he had a jumpout last Friday at Flemington, travelled up Sunday night and arrived here Monday.

"He's a good horse this."

At Caulfield on Saturday, Waller believes he has two strong winning chances.

Former Kiwi mare O'rachael has her third start for the stable in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost 3YOF Handicap (1200m) and Waller says the profile of the race will suit.

"Good run last start and she's drawn much better and she should get a nice run," he said.

"If she can settle midfield or a pair closer (than last time) I think she will be very hard to beat."

Wayanka is the other runner he says is capable of getting "back to winning form" in the Sheamus Mills Bloodstock 3YO Handicap (1400m).

"His run was excellent the other day when he got caught wide," he said. "He's drawn perfectly on Saturday to bounce back to winning form.

"He's a good horse, follow him."

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