Chris Waller aims for five groups 1 wins on Golden Slipper Day


Waller could have unprecedented sweep of all five group 1s on Saturday, with boom sprinter Nature Strip in The Galaxy and classy mares Unforgotten and Egg Tart among the leading hopes for the Ranvet.

“It’s is a big day but not the biggest in terms of pressure,” Waller said. “I felt it more when I was going to the races with Triple Honour [which was his first group 1 winner in the Doncaster 11 years ago] and having four group 1 runners on the same day early on.

“When you are coming up you feel it more. You learn to cope with it. These days it is about keeping it normal as possible on the big stage because if you don’t you would go crazy.

“Since Winx we have structures in place to keep things normal and not get too carried away.”

Waller’s best group 1 day came at The Championships last year when Unforgotten won the Australian Oaks, Who Shot Thebarman the Sydney Cup and Winx took out out her second Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Normal routine: Winx with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle during her gallop on SaturdayCredit:AAP

“That would be hard to beat because of the emotion involved with Who Shot Thebarman and Winx,” he said.

Winx continues on her normal routine. She had a race-day gallop on Saturday and will complete her final piece of fast work on Tuesday with Hugh Bowman in the saddle before a media call on Thursday morning.

“She’s very fresh and she’s just thriving,” Waller said. “That’s Winx, she’s just ready to explode. It makes my job a lot easier.

“It’s just like a human and I felt it myself [on Saturday]. You get the Winx jitters, you get the butterflies and you get a bit edgy and start walking on the spot and then it’s a relief when it’s done. I’m sure it’s the same for her.

“We just want to make sure she’s safe and set for another couple of runs. It’s one run at a time still but obviously we know the Queen Elizabeth is there.”

Waller has been working to get free-running Nature Strip to settle and he is likely to take a sit in The Galaxy.

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“We jumped him out with a couple of stablemates the other day and he settled behind them,” Waller said. “In the barrier trial on Thursday he was just too fast to do that but I think there is enough speed in a Galaxy for him to relax and find the line.”

The Golden Slipper is looks like being dominated by fillies, with only six colts in the top 16.

Godolphin will make a decision on Monday whether to pay the $150,000 late entry for Athiri, which was third in the Magic Night Stakes but pulled up with the thumps.

“I just need to have a look at her and see if she is right to run,” trainer James Cummings said.

If she was not to run it would allow well-fancied Loving Gabby in the elite field, with Godolphin next on the order of entry with colt Bivouac, which they would like to run.

He could also get in as David Hayes is on weather watch with Lankan Star, which would not start on a heavy track.

“I wouldn’t want to run on a heavy track but on a soft, improving track you would keep her in it for a shot at the big prize,” Hayes said.

Likely Golden Slipper field

1 DUBIOUS Michael Walker 56.5 $17

2 YES YES YES Blake Shinn 56.5 $6

3 MICROPHONE Hugh Bowman 56.5 $6

4 TIME TO REIGN Jason Collett 56.5 $13

5 FREE OF DEBT Dwayne Dunn 56.5 $34

6 COSMIC FORCE Dwayne Dunn 56.5 $7

7 EXHILARATES Kerrin McEvoy 54.5 $13

8 LYRE Luke Currie 54.5 $9

9 LANKAN STAR Damien Oliver 54.5 $51

10 TENLEY James McDonald 54.5 $6

11 PIN SEC Tommy Berry 54.5 $15

12 ANAHEED Tim Clark 54.5 $26

13 KIAMICHI Damian Lane 54.5 $34

14 CATCH ME Corey Brown 54.5 $34

15 ATHIRI – 54.5 $21

16 VINCERE VOLARE Sam Clipperton 54.5 $34

Emergencies

17 LOVING GABY Oisin Murphy 54.5 $11

18 BIVOUAC – 56.5 $34

Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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