Chris Waller and Nash Rawiller target group 1 double figures on Stradbroke day

In form: Nash Rawiller guides Moriarty to victory in the Eagle Farm Cup on Saturday. Photo: Tertius PickardThe combination of the leading group 1 trainer and jockey in the country is set to dominate Saturday’s Stradbroke meeting at Eagle Farm, and with a bit of luck, Chris Waller and Nash Rawiller could move their top-level wins for the season to double figures.

The Waller-Rawiller combination will have the favourites in the J. J. Atkins Stakes in Brazen Beau and in the Queensland Derby with Vilanova, and Moriarty will top pick in the Brisbane Cup. On Stradbroke day last year Waller had a winning treble.

“I will be happy if we can win one race on a day like that,” Waller said. “We have a couple of good chances.”

Waller is coming off five winners at Rosehill on Saturday and the win of Moriarty in the Eagle Farm Cup, which took the stable beyond $20 million in stakes for the season.

Waller and Rawiller will be the group 1 leaders for the season but Saturday could prove a red-letter day. Both sit on eight group 1 wins but have combined for only a single success at that level when Red Tracer won the Myer Classic at Flemington in the spring.

After winning the Dane Ripper Stakes on this day for the past two years, Red Tracer will have a crack at the Stradbroke on Saturday.

“I think in group 1 open company that 1400 metres is her ideal trip without a doubt,” Rawiller said. “She will go into it fresh and ready to go.”

Waller has opted to split his two classy mares and Catkins will run in the Dane Ripper.

The premier trainer believes the time is right for Red Tracer’s third group 1 success.

“She has had such an illustrious career and at this point another group 1 is more important than winning another Dane Ripper,” Waller said.

“I don’t think it is an overly strong Stradbroke and she is well weighted. In particular against those at the bottom of the weights.

“There are a couple around her in the weights which she might struggle to beat, but I think she is a great hope.”

Waller will also start Velrosso, which he admits “would need to improve”. He also has an interest in QTC Cup winner  Sacred Star, which went from his stable to that of Tony Pike after winning a race as a three-year-old.

“It’s good to see Tony coming over here with good horses. [Sacred Star] is a gelding now and is racing very well,” Waller said.

Three-year-old filly Srikandi is the $4.50 Stradbroke favourite, ahead of Rebel Dane at $5.50 and Hucklebuck at $7. Red Tracer and Spirit Of Boom are on the fourth line of betting at $9.

Brazen Beau is a $2.20 favourite in the J. J. Atkins, despite his last-start defeat in the Sires Produce Stakes by Time For War.

“I thought he was very good last time and very strong on the line,” Rawiller said. “I will ride him to get the mile but I think he will, the way he relaxes.”

Vilanova became Queensland Derby favourite following his Grand Prix win a couple of weeks ago. Waller believes that win could be a turning point for a horse that has long been seen as a potential topliner.

“It was good for his confidence and when they do what he did, they can go on,” Waller said.

“He is finally maturing.” Rawiller said, “and put on the track what everyone thought he would.”

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