Higher and higher for Kepitis
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.