Chris Waller has captured an elusive BMW win, with Preferment giving the all-conquering trainer his 14th Group One success this season.
The win is yet another link in Waller’s sparkling chain of achievements, but he admitted his record in the race was probably not what it should be.
“It’s a race that has eluded us,” Waller said.
“When we have so many stayers, it’s one Group One on the calendar you think you should be fairly competitive in.”
Dominant rather than competitive is perhaps a more apt description of the stable’s effort in this year’s BMW, with Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal making it a Waller-trained trifecta at Rosehill on Saturday.
“For Preferment to hang on and win it was a good tough win, because he had a good couple of two-milers chasing him,” Waller said.
The four-year-old was given a near-perfect ride by Hugh Bowman who took off at the 600m, breaking the hearts of his rivals.
The BMW win sealed Preferment’s fourth Group One, adding to successes in the Victoria Derby, Turnbull Stakes and Australian Cup.
“He feels like a Rolls Royce. He is one of the best movers I have ever sat on and I have sat on some nice ones,” Bowman said.
Waller stopped short of declaring Bowman Australia’s best jockey, but the partnership between the two is undoubtedly the country’s most successful at present.
“Hughie’s a jockey we’ll remember for many, many years and he’s now maturing into one of the best,” Waller said.
“I just love putting him on.”
Preferment will now head to the $4 million Queen Elizabeth where he is likely to meet stablemate and Australia’s best horse Winx.
Waller said Preferment would have a low-key lead-up to the race, while Winx would run in the Doncaster Mile.
“I’ll just back right off him, take him to the beach, even do a bit of dressage with him just to keep him interested.
“We might have to find another rider for him – I don’t think Hughie will get off Winx.”
Winx is a $1.90 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth, while Preferment firmed to $8 on the second line of betting after his BMW triumph.
It was Bowman’s third Group One win in a week with Winx’s George Ryder Stakes last Saturday followed by the Hong Kong Derby a day later on Werther.
Bowman’s delight at winning the BMW was soured somewhat by a $2000 fine for waving his whip.