Waller doubles up for final group 1 shot

Tracer bullet: Red Tracer (centre) beats Floria and Arctic Flight to the line in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm earlier this month. Photo: Tertius PickardIngham Racing linked with Chris Waller in 2008, before his stable became an irresistible force, but the famous cerise colours have not been worn to group 1 victory for the chosen horseman.
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“He is our only trainer for a reason,” Ingham Racing’s Debbie Kepitis said. “He just gets it right and won’t stop until he has got it right. That is why he is getting all the success.”

Waller’s roll towards a record for Sydney winners won’t stop on Saturday at Randwick, where he has 10 runners, but it is the Inghams’ She’s Clean and Red Tracer, owned by Geoff Grimish, which will draw the trainer to Eagle Farm as they try to add to his eight group 1 wins for the season in the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400 metres).

Red Tracer’s owner echoed the Ingham Racing view.

“Meticulous,” Grimish said of Waller. “Everything is planned and taken care of, he is so driven.”

Grimish, unlike Ingham Racing, spreads his horses around a few trainers, but admitted Waller was near the top of the list.

“You want to have your horses with the best and give them the best chance,” he said. “I have a Redoute’s Choice colt, which is a half-brother to Red Tracer, Shellscrape and Green Tracer, and it went to him.”

Red Tracer has given Grimish everything but a group 1, and last start overcame a wide draw to win the Dane Ripper Stakes under 59.5 kilograms a fortnight ago. She has drawn wide again (16) but, with rain forecast, Red Tracer could start favourite on Saturday.

“I’m just hoping I can have a beer with Chris after the race with the trophy,” Grimish said.

Meanwhile, Ingham Racing, which was established after selling its Woodlands Stud to Darley, is chasing its first group 1 since the sale. Kepitis’ father, Bob Ingham, had to choose a trainer for the new venture, and came up with Waller, who had impressed him on television. “Dad just wanted someone who was very professional, and Chris was the man,” Kepitis said.

Ingham Racing continues the family’s passion, and Waller is a key part of it. The venture, including Ingham’s children Lyn, Robbie, John and Kepitis, began at the 2008 sales. “Lloyd Williams helped us buy there,” Kepitis said. “We didn’t buy in 2009 really, and then in 2010 Chris and his team helped us buy [at the sales]. She’s Clean is one of those horses, so it would be good if she can win that group 1.”

While Red Tracer is a top-liner, She’s Clean is the mare on the rise. She has won a couple this preparation to earn her way to Brisbane, including the June Stakes at Randwick a fortnight ago.

Kepitis said it was always Waller’s plan to be at Eagle Farm.

“He said to me we might have a go at the group 1 with her,” she said. “I just said, ‘Go for it.’ He knows his horses so well, and won’t push unless he thinks they are up to it.

“She has drawn well [in four]. You never go into a group 1 confident but we are very hopeful.

“It is only thing Chris hasn’t achieved with us yet. He has trained more than 100 winners for Ingham Racing, and this is the final thing he needs to do.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.