Confidence has slowly grown among the Waller stable that Agnelli can put up a good fight in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The four-year-old gelding was 3.5 lengths behind stablemate Rousseau in his last start – the $130,000 Surdex Sheet & Coil Handicap (2000m) at Mornington on March 26.
But it did signal an improvement in his development since finishing sixth in the $135,000 Neds Toolbox Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on May 29 last year.
“He’s been a horse who has taken a bit of time to really acclimatise to racing,” Waller’s assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth told HorseBetting.com.au of the $8.50 chance with Ladbrokes.
“He’s been behind the bridal in a lot of the early starts of his career.
“But from now on he’s finding the line a lot better.”
Meanwhile, Duckworth said the future of superstar mare Verry Elleegant was still unknown after her fifth place in her last start when she went in as the favourite – the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 9.
“It’s still very much up in the air. She’s been a whirlwind all the way through her career and a privilege to have,” Duckworth said.
“But we’ll have another meeting next week when Chris is back and work out a plan from there.”
Duckworth said it was a pleasure working for the Waller stable, the current dominant operation in Sydney and New South Wales.
“It’s a huge privilege. It’s a massive team – there are 110 of us. We’re all involved and we all play our part,” he said.
“Whether that’s in the office or on the ground. We’re very fortunate to have good, supportive owners and we’ve rewarded them with a good result (on Monday).
“It makes it all worthwhile.”
That good result was Democracy Manifest’s almost two-length victory in the $60,000 Grainshaker Vodka Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
“Obviously the horse was pretty well educated when he came to us,” Duckworth said.
“He’ll mature and get stronger. He’s probably not a 1200m horse – he’s probably a 1400m horse.
“And he’ll be better on a drier track.”