Champion trainer Chris Waller is under no illusions about how difficult it will be to win tomorrow afternoon’s Furphy-Railway Stakes (1600m) with stable veteran Yonkers.
The gelding will get his third crack at Group 1 level at Ascot’s famous mile when he contested the Australian Cup (2000m) and Doomben Cup (2200m) earlier this year.
Waller, who won the 2015 Railway Stakes with Good Project, said Yonkers has settled in well to his new surroundings on the Adam Durrant property.
“He traveled well and everything went well from then on,” Waller told TABradio.
“She lives with Adam Durrant, who has a wonderful property.
“He keeps his horses happy, so we use Adam’s knowledge and get him to calm down and stay happy until race day.”
Yonkers heads into tomorrow’s $1.5m event after fifth on Star Of India in the $750,000 Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m) last start.
This run was his only start on a good track this campaign.
Prior to the Rosehill Gold Cup, Yonkers finished second to Gunstock in the Group 3 Coongy Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield and fourth to Cascadian in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
Despite matching some of Australia’s best gallopers this campaign, Waller said his charge needed to improve tomorrow.
“We’re just hoping he’s fresh enough and can get momentum from the barrier to finish strong,” he said.
“He’s a good second-rate horse that we hope he can pick up.
“He needs to hit a personal best to win.”
“He’s won a lot of prizes and a lot of races, but he’s failed in the Group 1 races here.
Waller also said Yonkers would place better under Weight-For-Age conditions in the Northerly Stakes (1800m) on 3 December.
Despite Waller’s pessimistic outlook, Yonkers showed an ability to deliver high quality at this distance range when he beat the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last year.
Yonkers broke barrier 11 earlier in the week and has the services of champion WA jockey Paul Harvey.
The seven-year-old has a $17 chance with TABtouch, with Alaskan God the $4 favorite.
Listen to Chris Waller here.
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