‘Something is brewing’: bookies wary of Waller’s new Queen
ARCADIA Queen continues to be the big mover on and off the track as her trainer Chris Waller prepares for an Everest conquest at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Waller, Sydney's leading trainer, has three runners in the elite 12-horse field for the $14 million The Everest (1200m): Arcadia Queen and her stablemates Yes Yes Yes and Nature Strip.
Waller tried to be "politically correct" when asked to rate his Everest runners at Rosehill trackwork on Wednesday morning, but Arcadia Queen's brilliant track gallop wide out on the course proper was impossible to ignore.
This was reflected in Everest betting trends on Wednesday with Arcadia Queen the biggest firmer with Ladbrokes as she shortened from $5.50 into $4.60 before easing out to $5. She is second favourite behind Santa Ana Lane at $4.60.
"Something is definitely brewing,'' TAB's Gerard Middleton said. "If this punter support for Arcadia Queen continues, she could be challenging Santa Ana Lane for favouritism on race day.''
Waller said Arcadia Queen would get her chance from barrier three, while admitting the mare's preparation had been faultless for The Everest.
"Seeing her work this morning, she's very sharp,'' Waller said.
"I've been fearful she might be looking for further, that's why we've kept her fresh and spacing her runs has allowed us to do that.
"She's won a Group 1 over 1800m but that doesn't mean she is an 1800m horse, she's simply that good.
"I guess she is a little bit vulnerable over 1200m but she will certainly be very strong at the end of the race.''
Waller said he expects Arcadia Queen to settle about midfield in The Everest.
"Barrier three should allow her to find a nice comfort zone in a midfield position,'' Waller said. "We won't be dragging her back any further than that and if she wants to settle closer she can.''
Yes Yes Yes, the only three-year-old in the field, stayed steady at eased slightly to $10 while Waller maintains Nature Strip ($21) is drawn to advantage despite starting from the outside barrier.
"Nature Strip is not the best of beginners, he can be half a length slow (away) so it's a good draw for him,'' Waller said.
"If you draw barrier one and you are half a length slow, especially in a race like The Everest, straight away someone will grab the fence and take your position and Nature Strip will get over-racing having to follow horses.
"But Time Clark can just roll across gently, I guess he will find the front and be in his own rhythm, and just run his race without being fired up.
"Obviously he will have to be going at a pretty high cruising speed to be able to cross an Everest field but that will certainly be the plan.''
Waller said he hopes jockey Glen Boss can ride Yes Yes Yes "with cover" early in The Everest.
"Yes Yes Yes has 53kg and is the lightest weighted and youngest horse in the race,'' Waller said. "He can get out and get going when he needs to with his lightweight.''
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