Champion trainer Chris Waller believes he has the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) almost at his mercy following the dominant victory of Life Less Ordinary in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and the eye-catching performances of two stablemates in the same Gold Coast race.
The premier trainer immediately outlined plans for the Brisbane weight-for-age feature on Saturday week after European import Life Less Ordinary, now a mainstay of the Waller stable, landed the $500,000 race. The rising eight-year-old gelding defeated stablemate Mister Sea Wolf, who is set to clash with him again in the Doomben Cup, by 2-1/4 lengths, with Japanese import Hallelujah Boy another long neck away in third.
Last season’s Queensland Oaks (2200m) winner Youngstar ran fifth in her second start back from an extended spell, an effort that also pleased Waller.
“All three will now press on to the Doomben Cup in a fortnight and they should all race well,’ Waller said.
He added that Life Less Ordinary, who won last year’s Listed Wagga Gold Cup (2000m), was an underrated horse who consistently runs well.
“He was fifth first-up in the Doncaster and his form through the spring was good. He isn’t the best horse in the stable and he is below the best Group 1 horses.
“But he is what Australian racing needs. He is one of those horses who can keep the Group 1 horses honest. ”
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy also backed up Waller’s opinion that Youngstar, who finished second last first-up in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, was returning to her Group 1-winning form. The jockey suggested the four-year-old would also appreciate a firmer surface than yesterday’s rain-affected Heavy 9 track.
“She will be a lot better when she gets back on top of the ground,” McEvoy said.
Life Less Ordinary has now won eight races and recorded 15 placings from 39 starts for prize money totaling $819,613.