Waller can’t hide pride for Erin

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

AF­TER two half-head losses in suc­ces­sive Group 1 races, it was third time lucky for trainer Chris Waller at Royal Rand­wick yes­ter­day.

Waller had been frus­trated when Fi­esta (Flight Stakes) and D’Ar­gento (Ep­som Hand­i­cap) were edged out but there was no deny­ing Syd­ney’s premier trainer in the Group 1 $750,000 The Met­ro­pol­i­tan (2400m) when Patrick Erin and Brimham Rocks hit the line to­gether.

In an­other grip­ping fin­ish, there was only a short half head sep­a­rat­ing them but it was tough stayer Patrick Erin’s mo­ment to shine.

Patrick Erin had won 11 of 22 starts in New Zealand but was un­placed in his first Aus­tralian runs since be­ing trans­ferred to Waller.

“I could just see him im­prov­ing with each run,’’ Waller said. “He’s a tough horse.’’

Patrick Erin ($16) fin­ished strongly to run down favourite Brimham Rocks ($4.60) right on the line with Sikan­dara­band ($26) a long head away third.

It was Waller’s third Met­ro­pol­i­tan and his 88th ma­jor.

“I’m not sure where we will go next but we might look at some­thing big­ger,’’ he said.

“The St Leger here in two weeks is there and ob­vi­ously you’ve got the cups in Mel­bourne.

“Two miles (3200m) is re­ally go­ing to suit him.’’

Patrick Erin firmed from $51 to $26 for the Caulfield Cup and $101 to $26 for the Mel­bourne Cup.

Waller paid trib­ute to jockey Corey Brown who wasted hard to ride Patrick Erin at 51kg yes­ter­day.

Brown said he had in­tended to ride Patrick Erin a lot closer to the speed but the race didn’t work out as he had ex­pected.

“Ob­vi­ously I al­ready have a Mel­bourne Cup ride but I would love to part­ner this horse all the way to the cup,’’ Brown said.

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