Rosehill around the track with Clinton Payne Saturday July 15
It was a solid winter meeting at Rosehill on Saturday but there's a touch of spring to my wrap column this week.
WALLER ALWAYS LOOKING TO LEARN
He might be currently Australia's most successful trainer but Chris Waller is following a mantra of the Japanese racing industry, spending the past week in the world's best racing centre "to learn from the way they train their horses".
Waller headed to Japan last week and returned to Australia identifying that to the Japanese, world's best practice isn't enough.
Waller said the Japanese way of galloping horses undercover, on inclines, is the way of the future and due to the conditions allows all horses to fulfil their potential with "wastage" numbers considerably less than in Australia.
"Working horses in a gradient I think is a big thing and a lot of their gallops are under cover and this means the conditions are the same, the surface they are working on, 365 days of the year," he said on his weekly You Tube preview Stable Talk.
"They work in a confined environment and that makes tracking them, testing their hearts, lactic acid levels, you name it, so much easier.
"With the expense of building these tracks, I think they get quickly repaid.
"I think over the years, particularly the last 20 years, they've really ramped up the technology and they're seeing the benefits of it and the rest of the world's certainly looking in their direction."
WINTER WONDER BACK IN WORK
Gun filly Egg Tart has returned to Chris Waller's Rosehill stables to continue her build up towards the spring carnival.
The daughter of Sebring won her five starts during her last campaign, culminating with Group I victories in the Schweppes Oaks and Queensland Oaks.
"She arrives back on Thursday," Waller's racing manager Charlie Duckworth said. "Cantered yesterday, three-quarter pace this morning over 800 metres.
"She's super, has come back in outstanding order."
Duckworth said Egg Tart's spring campaign is still to be determined but you would think Waller would consider following the same path he set Winx two years ago after she won the Queensland Oaks.
If Egg Tart follows the same program she would resume in the Group II Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on September 9 before progressing to the Group I Epsom Handicap (1600m) on September 30. From there Winx went straight to Moonee Valley to win the first of her Cox Plates.
HOW TIMES CHANGE
Champion trainer Peter Snowden earlier this week announced his stable had entered into "an exciting new partnership" with Sydney City Lexus that sees the former Scone boy cruising around in his slick new wheels but a trip down memory lane revealed he's come a long way.
"My first car was a Morris Major with four on the floor," Snowden said.
"It had problem after problem. I had to always park it up on a hill because half the time I had to jump start it.
"It didn't matter but I thought it was something special. I used to wash it once a week, I thought it was the best thing ever."
Snowden said the partnership is another way of offering a service to his clients noting if they are in the hunt for a new car, they will receive "a VIP experience" at Sydney City Lexus.
"Aside from sharing a passion for all things horse power, we are both local based businesses, hold a strong customer focus, and have grown significantly in a short period of time, so there is plenty to leverage," he said.
WILL THE EXCITING COLTS FIGURE IN SPRING FEATURES?
There was plenty of talk about the spring credentials of exciting juveniles Siege Of Quebec and Calculated after they cleared out from their opposition to quinella the #THERACES 2YO Handicap (1400m).
The "Golden Rose" and the "Caulfield Guineas" were races being touted so I headed for the history books to see if history says it can be done by horses in their first preparation racing a month prior to the start of the three-year-old season.
Star filly Foxplay ran second (four lengths back to third) in a 1400m race on July 2 last year beaten by last Wednesday's Canterbury winner Awoke. She was freshened immediately after the event and returned six weeks later, winning the Group II Furious Stakes and Tea Rose Stakes before a fourth placing in the Flight Stakes.
Other Stakes class gallopers to contest a 1400m race in July during their two-year-old season over the past three years were Kimberley Star, Harper's Choice, Morton's Fork and Amovatio.
There's no doubting both colts are above average and I'd expect they're likely to capture black-type at some point in the future, but I'd be looking more towards the autumn rather than the spring. Don't forget Foxplay became a Group I winner earlier this year.
NEWCASTLE IS WHERE IT'S AT
There was plenty of focus on the Rosehill two-year-old race Saturday but I'm expecting the Belmont 16's 2YO Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Newcastle is also going to prove a strong form pointer in the weeks and months to come.
Earlier this week TAB.com.au reported some huge support for Peter and Paul Snowden's first starter Smartedge. Bets of $7500 at $2.60, $6000 at $2.30 and $10,000 at $2 were written on the son of Smart Missile by Friday.
Smartedge started the $1.80 favourite and looked the winner 200m from home when he surged to the front but a Chris Waller-trained son of So You Think, D'Argento, carrying the same colours as Calculated did earlier in the day at Rosehill, charged late to arrive and win by a widening short-head.
Adding further merit to D'Argento's win was the fact that he copped a bad check within the first 400m of the race.
"We've always thought there isn't much between D'Argento and Calculated," Waller's racing manager Charlie Duckworth said. "If anything, he's been a bit more immature mentally than Calculated and that's why he went to the provincials to start his career."
LOTS OF UNFAMILAR SMILES
Saturday's meeting started with a focus on Hugh Bowman's charge for a fourth Sydney jockeys' premiership but when the day came to a close it was Adam Hyeronimus and Jess Taylor that had a day out.
Bowman failed to chalk up a win in any of the nine races leaving him half-a-win ahead of Brenton Avdulla, who returns from suspension on Monday, with four meetings remaining in the season.
While Bowman failed to trouble the scorer, Taylor tasted her first black-type victory while Hyeronimus took the day's riding honours with a treble to reach the goal of 52 winners and 20 city winners he set for himself at the start of the season.
"It's rewarding to set a challenging target and then reach it," Hyeronimus said.
Taylor's victory aboard the Jason Coyle-trained mare Slightly Sweet in the Winter Stakes was equally rewarding for the hard-working jockey.
"That was absolutely super," Taylor said.
"It hasn't sunk in yet. It's my new favourite horse of course."
Kudos also goes to Coyle, who's had his best ever season as a trainer and had another double on Saturday.