Chris Waller is hoping to use a tried and true preparation through Saturday’s Group 2 Hobartville Stakes to maximise the autumn ambitions of improving talents The Elanora and Wheelhouse at Rosehill.
Waller has Group 1 goals with both emerging colts and his stable has successfully used the 1400m event before as a launching pad into the autumn majors.
The last time Waller won the Hobartville Stakes was in 2019 with the all-conquering three-year-old The Autumn Sun who went onto play a starring role in the autumn.
The Autumn Sun proved his star power to salute in both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas.
The champion trainer also won the 1400m feature three years earlier with Press Statement, which went on to finish a narrow runner up in the Randwick Guineas in 2016.
The Elanora and Wheelhouse are destined to follow a similar path through the autumn.
While neither have the same runs on the board as Waller’s past Hobartville winners – both The Autumn Sun and Press Statement were Group 1 victors before their autumn prep – the race will give the trainer a crucial guide of how the pair fare against some of Australia’s best three-year-olds.
“It’s a time of year where there is some new horses coming through especially at the three-year-old level with the later maturing and starting to find their form,” Waller said.
“The earlier two-year-olds and early three-year-olds are now having to compete with the later three-year-olds.
“I am not saying my two are in the category of the still maturing but from what I can say there is upside with both of them and they are nice horses heading towards Randwick Guineas and possibly Rosehill Guineas.”
The Elanora winning at Rosehill. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
TAB.com.au give The Elanora ($19) the slight edge on Wheelhouse ($21) in early Hobartville betting.
The Elanora comes into Saturday’s assignment chasing four straight wins after campaigning with success at the back end of the spring and early summer.
The Redoute’s Choice colt added a pair of Group 3s to his name with a victory at Rosehill wedged between his Spring Stakes triumph at Newcastle (November 14) and Grand Prix win at Eagle Farm (Boxing Day).
Waller elected to push on deep into the year with his classy youngster with big dividends but was keen to ensure he’d be ready to face up again in the autumn.
“I think modern training methods have changed a bit over the years and the fact is The Elanora could have gone to the paddock after a race or two but we pushed on and developed his racing manners and experience,” Waller said.
“Look he is going to be vulnerable first up 1400m but the Randwick Guineas is when he should start getting to his peak again.”
Sam Clipperton rides Wheelhouse in the Hobartville. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Wheelhouse arrives in the Hobartville off a maiden success at Randwick on February 3 but was runner up in a Listed Fernhill Mile as a two-year-old.
An improving son of Pierro, Waller expects the lightly-raced colt will continue to improve as he steps up this preparation.
“It was a really good first up win admittedly it was only a maiden but all you can do is win and he did it impressively,” he said.
“I don‘t think there is any doubt in his potential over a mile and beyond and Saturday will be a great stepping stone because I can’t wait to get him there.”
Waller has also accepted Cleanway Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m) with Wheelhouse but the colt is the third emergency.
Sam Clipperton rides Wheelhouse in the Hobartville while Nash Rawiller pilots The Elanora.
Originally published asHobartville in Waller’s Wheelhouse
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