Chris Waller Looking to Break Caulfield Cup Drought

Tue 13th October 2020

Chris Waller holds a strong hand heading into the 2020 Caulfield Cup (2400m), with Verry Elleegant, Finche, and Toffee Tongue representing the stable in Saturday’s feature.

Waller has entered 20 runners in the Caulfield Cup over the years without success, with his best result Finche’s fifth place last year, also matched by Royal Descent in 2013.

The Kiwi trainer is honest about his record in the race, but quietly confident about his chances this year with his highly rated trio.

“It’s obviously a very tricky race,” Waller said.

“We’ve had chances over the years, but we’ve never got close enough to say that we should have won it, so it is one of those races at the moment for me.

“It’s a great race itself and it’s also a semi-final to the big one in a couple of weeks’ time. It’s a race we’d clearly love to win and I’d have to say it most probably is (our best chance yet).”

On Verry Elleegant:

“Verry Elleegant is certainly the benchmark when it comes to weight-for-age racing in Australia.

“She’s versatile from 1400 metres to 2400 metres. Not many horses tick that box, so she’s got the speed to win 1400-metre Group 1 races and the stamina to produce it at 2400 metres.

“The obvious query is the weight (55 kilograms). It’s a decent weight and she’s not a big horse so every kilo to her is a lot, so that’s the only negative for her.

On Finche:

“Finche ran well in the race last year (when fifth) without much luck.

“From memory he drew wide (barrier 15) and was out of his comfort zone most of the way, but he still ran really well and he’s come back, believe it or not, a stronger horse and his first two runs have been brilliant.

“He’s an intriguing horse. He’s one of the most asked-about horses in our stable and has been for a while and that’s what the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups bring. They instantly get a following if they can place or run well in those races and it’s been that way for him.

“He doesn’t have to make up much improvement and he’s well weighted I think certainly in comparison to Verry Elleegant.

On Toffee Tongue:

“Toffee Tongue, she’s the new kid on the block and although she’s coming out of a Group 1 win (in the autumn) in South Australia but she also ran a very good Group 1 placing in the Oaks in Sydney.

“It showed last start (Turnbull placing) that she’s up to the level with her first run over 2000 and now stepping up to the 2400 metres, who knows?

“She’s got a nice weight and there’s a sense of timing about her prep and her career because she’s just turned four and starting to mature.

“I think the Caulfield Cup is still the best form line for the Melbourne Cup so I am eagerly awaiting to see the result to see if she can progress to the Melbourne Cup at that young age.”

Verry Elleegant is currently the $5.50 second elect for the Caulfield Cup, with Finche at $11, and Toffee Tongue a $15 chance.

Waller also has Nature Strip ($6) and Haut Brion Her ($26) running in The Everest (1200m) on Saturday at Royal Randwick.

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.