Strong hand for Waller at Rosehill

Chris Waller heads to his home track with a mix of the old and the new on show at Rosehill.

Stable veterans, eight-year-old Junoob and Loophole who is two years younger, run in Saturday’s Listed Winter Cup (2400m) while four two-year-olds getting ready to make an impact in the new season, race each other over 1400 metres.

Foxplay, High Mist, Octavian Augustus and Awoke are all last-start winners and typical of Waller’s approach with young horses most of which don’t race until near the end of their juvenile year.

The four are the TAB’s market leaders with Foxplay the most favoured at $1.90 from Octavian Augustus at $4.60 and High Mist and Awoke both at $8.

Foxplay was a decisive three-length winner over Cogliere and Moohariba at Rosehill on June 18 with both those youngsters lining up against her again.

Waller admits Loophole is going to the Winter Cup as an afterthought but has decided the time is right to give him his chance at 2400 metres at his 50th start.

“He is a half brother to Preferment from a good family and they do get a trip,” Waller said.

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Preferment won the 2014 Victoria Derby over 2500m and was not fully tested in last year’s Melbourne Cup as one of the horses involved in a scrimmage in the straight.

Waller brought Junoob home to Sydney after he finished last of the eight runners in the Group Three Tattersall’s Cup in at Eagle Farm won by stablemate Index Linked from Winter Cup rival Tucanchoo.

Index Linked has stayed in Queensland for Saturday’s Caloundra Cup.

“Junoob didn’t handle Eagle Farm at his last start so we brought him home,” Waller said.

“The horse that finished second in Brisbane is favourite for the Winter Cup but I’m sure Junoob can improve.”

The Hawkes Racing-trained Tucanchoo is at $2.50 with Loophole at $5 and Junoob at $7.

With nine Sydney race meetings left for the season, Waller goes to Rosehill on 158 winners, on target to pass his own Sydney training record of 167-1/2 set in 2012/13.

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