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2 the form Friday, July 30, 2010
Saturday's group and listed races
Melbourne: Bletchingly Stakes (G3).
Adelaide: Dermody Stakes (L).
INDEX $10,000 and 10 years and
Waller s at the top to stay
Major success . . . Chris Waller and jockey Nash Rawiller celebrate
Rangirangdoo's Doncaster win. Photo: Jenny Evans
About a decade ago the
$10,000 that Chris
Waller required to
become a racehorse
trainer in Sydney came from another
account. ''I came from New Zealand
without any money,'' Waller declared
this week. ''Part of the criteria to get a
licence was to prove you had $10,000
in the bank. I'm sure Mr [Ray]
Murrihy [the Racing NSW chief stew-
ard] won't mind me saying the 10
came from somebody else and it was
only on my bank statement for a
couple of days before it went back.''
At the time Waller had a couple of
horses but he's parlayed that situ-
ation into becoming a Sydney
trainers' premiership contender,
unprecedented in many ways. Sure
others have groped and clawed up
the ladder, but none has gone so far
on such a limited foundation.
For instance, he will be the first to
break the Gai Waterhouse-
Woodlands Stud or Darley quinella
since 1998-99 when John Size came
to the fore. Size, though, a great
horseman, had only 63 winners to
take second while Waller, after
Saturday, will be in the 90s. Size,
wearing a hayseed hat, came to Rand-
wick from Queensland in a
ramshackle horse float with occu-
pants looking little better. Waller had
''four or five horses'' and an offsider
when he moved here at the start of the
century, enticed by the Sydney Turf
Club's new stables. The idea had been
planted a couple of years earlier when
he arrived for a hit-and-run expedi-
tion with Party Belle, which couldn't
win in New Zealand.
''Party Belle ran third at her first
start at Kembla Grange, got beat at
Goulburn and finally won a 2100m
race at Wyong,'' he recalled. ''She
won two more provincial races
before going home [to NZ] but didn't
do any good so I brought her back the
following winter and she won three
metropolitan races in a row.''
While awaiting the Rosehill stables
to be completed, Waller started at
Randwick from whence he prepared a
winner with his first starter since
returning -- Our Cracker at Rosehill in
February 2000. It set Waller on the
way to overcoming the lack of money
and support usually required to be in
Sydney's top two, emphasised by a
recent Waterhouse quote.
''I haven't got anyone backing me
like the Chicken Kings [Inghams] or
Darley so unless I'm training winners
I'm going backwards,'' she stressed.
But Waterhouse had the Tulloch
Lodge foundation left by her father,
Tommy Smith, while John Hawkes
had the benefit of an operation foun-
ded and finetuned by the Inghams,
the late Big Jack and Bob, and
continued by Darley, with Peter
Snowden at the helm.
Brian Mayfield-Smith, arriving in
Sydney in 1976, looking very much
the stockman he had been, made his
move on Smith's title with support.
In 1985-86 he broke Smith's 33-year
run on top, and kept the title for
three years before being runner-up
again with 70.5 winners. ''But he did
it with the assistance of Bob
Lapointe and Robert Sangster, who
gave him financial backing beyond a
trainer's dreams,'' according to Jack
Pollard's Australian Horse Racing.
Nobody should denigrate the
achievements and horse skills of
Hawkes and Snowden, but the
efforts of runners-up, particularly
how they got there, are exemplary.
With a best season of 87 winners,
Neville Begg, an outstanding trainer,
was runner-up nine times to Smith
after starting in 1967 with six horses
at Randwick. He learnt the trade
under Maurice McCarten, another
who found Smith a nemesis. McCar-
ten had won four trainers' titles, and
then chased Smith home in 10. Like
Waller, McCarten was a New Zeal-
ander, but he had a flying start to his
training career, switching from being
a top jockey. Waller rode but hardly to
the same standard. Waller gives credit
to Bob Ingham for his latest crop: 200
horses, with 80 in work at any one
time and 20 pre-training.
''I have no intention of setting up
satellite stables so I believe we can
handle another 20 under the current
model,'' he added, maintaining the
model comes from Crown Lodge.
''Basically it's identical. When Mr
Ingham asked me to train his horses
he gave me a series of questions to
answer . . .''
The basics? ''It's making sure
people are responsible,'' he answered.
''We have a foreperson in charge of
every 20 horses with an assistant and
five staff as well.
''[It's about] attention to detail and
making people responsible. Mr
Ingham requires weekly reports and
we supply them to other owners.
''Data and records . . .
''Mr Ingham is only on a small scale
now, but I'm proud to be running
second to Peter Snowden who came
through his system.''
But the style is all Waller: account-
ant, computer whiz, smooth PR, with
a liberal dash of humble. And horse
skills, of course.
To be fair Waller was doing well
even before ''Mr Bob'' and he gives
much credit to his staff.
''The ones we needed have stayed
loyal,'' he maintained. ''By giving
them responsibility they feel part of
a team. I don't like taking the glory
because they deserve it as much as I
do. I now have 45 people, very
The accountant, too, comes out.
''I do a daily budget,'' Waller
confessed, handling a computer with
the dexterity of an old-timer on a stop
watch. ''I know exactly what's going
on. Running a business on a shoe-
string [through early necessity] has
helped us to grow. Never a time when
I got behind in our payments.''
Enthusiasm, too, is always to the
fore. ''At times when I speak I get very
emotional about Sydney racing,'' he
explained. ''In New Zealand watch-
ing Randwick on a Saturday
afternoon was special. To think you
would be a part of Sydney history,
and there's a hell of a way to go yet, is
a goal for me.''
A rare bird, Waller. And it goes
further than being a Kiwi.
NSW Provincial (Kembla Grange) .....Page 4
Sydney (Rosehill) .......................... Page 5
Melbourne (Caulfield) ................... Page 9
Adelaide (Morphettville Parks) . Page 22
Perth (Belmont) .................................. Page 32
Queensland (Doomben) ............ Page 28
Max Presnell ........................................ Page 2
Race Focus ........................................... Page 3
Greyhounds ........................................ Page 34
Bloodlines ..................................... Page 34-35
Harness racing ................................... Page 35
Stunning rise . . . Chris
Waller with his stable
stars, hard at work and
with wife Stephanie.
Photos: Jenny Evans, Peter
Rae, Simon Alekna
(02) 9282 3197
(02) 9282 2039
(02) 9282 2091
(02) 4979 5967
0418 654 698
(02) 4221 2214
(07) 3031 6231
Tony Zuccarini (Editor) (02) 9282 2767
(02) 4221 2643
Day/Night meetings .........Pages 15-21
Win plenty -- Over $135,000 in First 4 jackpots tomorrow at Rosehill
A legend of the STC calls time
JOHN NICHOLSON, with the
Sydney Turf Club since 1966,
makes his last appearance as
''racing manager'' at Rosehill
on Saturday. With the STC-
Australian Jockey Club
merger looming, unfortunately
the industry is losing one of its
best and most experienced
Nicholson, as an integral
team member, has seen the
STC grow from hanging on to
the coat-tails of the AJC to a
major outfit that promoted the
Golden Slipper into an event
that changed the face of the
Australian turf. He started with
Bill Longworth as chairman
and goes out under Bill Picken.
Former chairmen Tommy
Kennedy and Jim Fleming have
a special place. ''Tommy was so
street-wise and good at
handling people,'' he said. ''Jim
Fleming always wanted new
ideas. He didn't mind if they
failed as long as you kept on
coming up with them.''
Nicholson has been all
about enthusiasm for racing
and loyalty to the STC.
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