The Courier-Mail

MIDAS TOUCH

Group 1 glory is difficult to achieve but Waller has …

- NATHAN EXELBY @xlbnathan_cmail

WITH the most successful Group 1 trainer of the past two decades forced to sit on the sidelines, Chris Waller is poised to notch his own piece of modern history in today’s Queensland Oaks.

Gai Waterhouse, who has been Australia’s leading Group 1 trainer five times and on four occasions notched double-figure Group 1 winners in a season, yesterday scratched heavily backed Bohemian Lily.

That leaves Winx as the firming favourite for the Oaks, with UBET posting $2.20 after the Bohemian Lily scratching.

Waller (pictured) is chasing a 13th Group 1 win for the season today, which would be a modern record.

He shares the record for the past 20 years with Lee Freedman and John Hawkes after Boban gave him a dozen in last week’s Doomben 10,000.

Waller will be Australia’s leading Group 1 trainer for the third consecutiv­e season this year, bettering the eight and nine top-level wins he posted over the past two seasons.

Tommy Smith is the standard-bearer since the Group system was introduced in 1979, claiming 19 wins in 1979-80, when Kingston Town led the stable charge.

The record belongs to Bart Cummings, who in 1974-75 won 21 races that would later be classified as Group 1 events.

The withdrawal of Bohemian Lily changes the complexion of the Oaks, which looked certain to be run at a strong gallop.

Winx showed in her Sunshine Coast Guineas win she is more than capable of making up ground off the back of a modest tempo, clocking sub-34sec for her final 600m that day.

Waller said Winx had thrived in Queensland and he was not concerned about her “peaking twice” after she ran second in the Australian Oaks in Sydney.

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