The Waller stable dominated the metropolitan program at Wyong with two promising types among their trifecta of winners.
Three-year-old fillies Velocita and Impulsive impressed Chris Waller who is tipping bright futures for both.
A huge finish by the Blake Shinn ridden Velocita ($6.20) secured the first win on the program and an early quinella for the Waller stable.
The Sebring filly showed an impressive turn of foot coming from last on the turn to run down race favourite Plagiarist ($3.20), scoring a long neck victory in the 1600m WYONG MAGIC MILLIONS DECEMBER 21 HANDICAP.
Waller said he had always thought a bit of the Star Thoroughbreds filly who was having her fourth race start, coming off a second at Gosford over the 1600m on November 14.
“I always thought a bit of her but she’s taken a bit of time to show it,” he said.
“She’s a true Star Thoroughbreds horse, a nice type who always keeps improving and a lovely horse to train.
“Blake bided his time on her today. There was plenty of pace there and she hit the line strongly.
“Obviously it’s good to be on good tracks and winning from anywhere despite this being a short straight.”
Shinn was full of praise for Velocita, considering she has a very bright future.
“It was a really promising win. She gave me a good feel and I think she’s got a very promising future,” Shinn said.
“It was a very impressive finish. I was awkwardly placed at bend with two in front and not going anywhere. I had to patient to get a cross heals and felt maybe the bird had flown but I never really gave up hope.
“When I got out she sprouted wings and thankfully had enough to get there.”
Waller said the runner-up Plagiarist had to do a bit of work in the race but had a “very bright future.”
The Waterhouse/Bott trained Zepplin ($4.10) finished two and a quarter lengths behind in third.
So You Think filly Impulsive ($5.60) gave the stable back to back wins leading all the way to take out the 1350m LIMITLESS LODGE BREAKING IN PLATE by just over a length.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy and raced by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thorougbhreds, the impressive filly broke through for her debut win at just her second start.
The Waller stable has a big opinion of the three-year-old with plans now to aim her toward the Autumn Carnival.
“She’s what you aspire to when you are breeding horses and training horses and I think Mr Camilleri will have a lot of fun with her,” Waller said.
“I’ve been a bit bullish about her in terms of her future but I didn’t know about today, whether the tighter turning track would suit her. “She was just given a gem ride by Kerrin. It was a tricky race tactically and for him to take the initiative and lead worked in his favour.”
McEvoy agreed with Waller’s sentiments describing Impulsive as one to follow.
“She’s got a lovely attitude and still scope to grow. She has a lovely way about her. The way she does everything you feel like you’ve got a nice amount of ability underneath you,” he said.
“She’s one to keep an eye on that’s for sure. Mentally and physically there is still a lot of improvement.”
McEvoy said he had been happy to lead after Impulsive jumped well and was comfortable in her action.
She beat the Cummings trained African Academy ($4.20), with another of the Waller runners, Miss Shanti ($3.30) third.
Smooth Whiskey ($7.60) outstayed his opposition to bring up the third winner of the day for the Waller stable and a double for Kerrin McEvoy.
The Snitzel gelding was having his first attempt at the 2100m and had to work hard to run down the tearaway leader, race favourite Coys ($3.90).
Smooth Whiskey scored a length victory to take out the KOOINDAH WATERS HANDICAP, over Coys, with the Perry trained San Francisco ($17) third.
Waller’s stable representative Charlie Duckworth said there were a lot of positives to come out of the win.
“It was a very good result today. He had to do it the hard way bringing the field up to the leader and fought really hard over the concluding stages,” he said.
“It was good to see him switch off without getting cover.
“Kerrin worked it out well and timed it well. He is one of the best jocks Sydney has to offer and it’s good to have him aboard on a horse that needs every bit of encouragement.
“I think now he is switching off well he can go on from here and win some more good races and earn some valuable prizemoney for the connections.”
McEvoy said he believes Smooth Whiskey could improve again over further distance.
“He’s gone up in trip today and was successful so that might be where his future lies.
“He will possibly get further. He’s a nice, big striding horse lightly enough raced. That’s his second win and it will be interesting to see how he can handle himself once he gets out more in trip.”
A boilover in the 1200m THE HUNTER CONTAINERS HANDICAP with the Paul Perry trained Miss Imagination ($37.20) proving too strong for her opposition, courtesy of a patient Blake McDougall ride.
The apprentice sat behind the leaders, who put on a strong early tempo, before taking his chances in the straight, driving through a gap on the rails to score a half-length win.
The impeccably bred Fastnet Rock filly, a $580,000 2016 Inglis Easter Sale purchase, is raced by a syndicate that includes the Gillard family, breeders Kia Ora Stud and Tru Blu Bloodstock.
“The Gillard family put the money in and buy the horses and it’s good to see them get another winner,” Perry’s stable representative Mick Rowlands said.
“Blaike did an excellent job today. He let them fight it out in front and then snuck up on the rails and got the cash.”
McDougall said he considers there is still some improvement in the filly, who brought up her third win from seven starts.
“I know her form is only country but she’s been racing fairly well there, well enough to have a crack at a midweek.
“The way she hit the line today she was never bolting through the line, I think she still learning her craft.
“I think there is a bit of improvement to come probably a better race in store.”
Miss Imagination beat the Waterhouse/Bott trained Gracefilly ($6.50), with Kris Lees’ Valeria ($3.50) three quarters of a length behind in third.
A celebration was on the cards for Warwick Farm trainer John Steinmetz after his mare Hillary Step ($4.60) outclassed her opposition to bring up her fifth career win, taking her earnings over $100,000.
The California Dane five-year-old, raced by John, overcame a wide barrier and was taken straight to the lead by Josh Parr.
The leading jockey controlled the speed in front and pulled away in the straight to score a two and three-quarter length win in the 1200m LIMITLESS LODGE PRE TRAINING HANDICAP.
“I’ll go home and have a few drinks tonight and worry about where to go next tomorrow,” Steinmetz said following the win.
“She deserves this win. She’s been a terrific mare and improved a few lengths this preparation. She really could of won any of the last three starts but just didn’t have the luck on the other two days.
“I thought she had a great chance today. It was her career best run last start in a strong field on a Saturday race. She tried very hard that day just the circumstances of the race didn’t work out.
“I said to Josh to be aggressive today and look for the lead and he let her roll along and that was terrific.”
Parr said while he would of liked Hillary Step to have jumped half a length better it all worked out when he was able to find the front.
“I was given great confidence pre-race by John and the Team by how well and fit the horse was, so I was happy to go along at the nice speed and she was just a class above today.
“The writing was on the wall for this win. She hadn’t had the best of luck at her last couple of starts but we got out in front today and she perfectly prepared for me to come and get the spoils.”
Kris Lees trained the runner-up Hammoon Dream ($7.50), while Mollyfied from the Gerald Ryan stable, was third.
A drop back in distance and change in riding tactics proved the key to the Clarry Connors trained Fanning’s ($4.80) dominant win in the 1000m KENRICK LAW HANDICAP.
The I Am Invincible gelding appreciated being ridden with cover and was able to storm home over the top of his rivals to score a length and a quarter win.
Connors considered the drop back from 1200m last start to the 1000m was a telling factor.
He said a number of circumstances had contributed to Fanning not being able to record another win sooner.
“He’s a nice horse but little things have gone wrong. He got bumped and has had really heavy tracks and led last start when I didn’t want to lead,” Connors said.
“I said we’d drop him back to 1000m, let him get back a little bit and see if he can finish off which he did and that was good. “He’s a lovely horse to train, if anything he eats too well. It is the best he’s ever got to the line I’m very happy with it.
“It was great to pick up a city win today.”
Brown, who had only the one ride on the day, also said the distance and change in tactics were the telling factors.
“I think he’s a horse who gets a bit too aggressive and does too much himself whereas today over the 1000m they ran really quickly and he could get back and relax and gather himself up as he liked.
“He is a lovely horse and won well.”
A well-rated front running ride by Blake Spriggs secured the 1600m COASTAL CARPET & FLOORING HANDICAP for Victime De L‘Amour ($5.10).
The Tim Martin trained gelding brought up his third win from10 starts after Spriggs took a six-length lead in the back straight, running his opposition into the ground.
The four-year-old was coming back in distance from an 1800m Saturday race at Rosehill on November 4.
Foreman Justin Webb, who has a share in the gelding, said bringing him back to the mile and the ride by Spriggs had given Victime De L’Amour the winning edge.
“Tim thought he was at peak fitness today and it was a lovely ride by Blake to get him away and rolling like that. He hit the line well,” Webb said.
“Tim thinks he’s a nice stayer in the making but a mile might be his limit at the moment and that’s the best way to ride him. It was a good result.
“Tim plans to work him through the grades and it’s good to get a few wins.”
Spriggs said it was great to bring up his second win on Victime De L’Amour, who is raced by several of his friends.
“It’s a great thrill for me. A few of my very close friends are in this horse and I was very excited when I got the ride on him again,” he said.
“I’ve had the two rides on him now and won both times. He’s a horse with a few little breathing issues and he’s better if he rolls along.
“I knew he’d keep going and that’s what he did.”
The Allan Denham trained Happy Go Plucky ($14) finished second, with John Thompson’s Makeadane ($16) third.