Higher and higher for Kepi­tis

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - RAY THOMAS

THE “Winx con­nec­tion” of owner Deb­bie Kepi­tis and trainer Chris Waller didn’t need the great mare to en­joy more big-race suc­cess yes­ter­day.

Higher Ground, with his rider Glyn Schofield wear­ing Kepi­tis’s colours of pur­ple and white hoops, led home a Waller sta­ble quinella in the Group 3 $150,000 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Royal Rand­wick.

Higher Ground is her first Syd­ney stakes win­ner in her Wop­pit Blood­stock colours.

In a fin­ish that had ev­ery­one guess­ing, Higher Ground ($5.50) scored by a nose from Tan­gled ($6) with Holy Snow ($3.90) a half-length away third. Waller said Higher Ground and Tan­gled are now on the Derby trail but in sep­a­rate states.

“Higher Ground will go to the Queens­land Derby and Tan­gled might go to the South Aus­tralian Derby,’’ he said.

“That’s the beauty of rac­ing in Aus­tralia be­cause 52 weeks of the year we race on pretty good tracks and there’s a lot of op­tions.

“If you are not there in the spring there’s the au­tumn and other op­tions, Queens­land, South Aus­tralia, Western Aus­tralia. You name it. It’s a pretty good coun­try to be train­ing race­horses.’’

Higher Ground scored his fourth win from just eight starts and the son of for­mer cham­pion So You Think is des­tined for bet­ter things.

“I like them,’’ Waller said when asked about train­ing the prog­eny of So You Think. “They suit my style of train­ing.

“So You Think was a dead­set su­per­star and to get some of his prog­eny is pretty spe­cial.

“A big key to a horse’s longevity is not push­ing them early and, as you can see, they start de­vel­op­ing later in life.’’

Schofield also has a good opin­ion of Higher Ground’s emerg­ing stay­ing po­ten­tial.

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