Waller prepares Press Statement for Royal Ascot campaign

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Press Statement

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Press StatementJUDGEMENT day looms for Press Statement this Saturday at Randwick as a possible trip to see the Queen could be on the cards.

The Chris Waller-trained colt runs in the $600,000 Group 1 All Ages Stakes and an impressive performance could earn it a spot in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot on June 19.

The three-year-old sets a good standard at the mile, but Waller will be forced to run it over shorter distances in preparation for the 1200m feature at Royal Ascot.

“He’s a good 1400m horse and I think that’s what you need for Ascot,” Waller said.

“He’ll run well in the All Aged. He’s going really well.”

The decision is so surprising that bookmakers haven’t yet put Press Statement in the market. The current favourite with Sportsbet.com.au is fellow Australian Chautauqua at $5.

Sportsbet.com.au

Waller knows the value of winning with a colt at Royal Ascot after he tried with Brazen Beau in last year’s feature sprint.

“Taking a colt to win at Ascot puts another fifty percent onto their value,” Waller said.

Press Statement is in the market for the 2016 Cox Plate, which remains a target. It is currently a $21 chance with Sportsbet for the Cox Plate with Winx dominating the market at $2.75.

Kiwi trainer looking for gold in Brisbane

New Zealand trainer Tony Pike didn’t have a good Brisbane winter carnival last year, but is hoping to rectify the situation with two quality thoroughbreds this year.

Pike will bring over New Zealand Derby placegetters Rangipo and Raghu, Stradbroke-bound Sacred Star, two-year-old Sacred Elixer and potentially another filly named Provocative.

“I’ve only been there the two years,” Pike said.

“The first time around we won the QTC Cup with Sacred Star but last year was an absolute nightmare.

“Everything that could go wrong did, so hopefully the tide turns this time.”

Classy three-year-olds Rangipo and Raghu look strong chances respectively coming out of a Derby which has since had its form franked by Tavago.

WilliamHill.com.au

“There were a few people who wanted to pot the Derby form when it was a bunched finish but the top six or seven out of it have proven it’s a good race again,” Pike said.

“New Zealand three-year-old form has always held up pretty well.”

Raghu finished third in the New Zealand Derby and will have another run in New Zealand before heading over for a shot at the Queensland Derby.

“This will be his last preparation for me. He is owned in Hong Kong, so after Brisbane he will go to Hong Kong and likely be prepared for the Derby up there,” Pike said.

Rangipo won the New Zealand Derby in March, but will be kept for the shorter distance of the Queensland Guineas – one of two runs in Queensland.

“We will keep him to the shorter trips this time and then make a call after this carnival whether we have a shot at Melbourne or not,” Pike said.

Provocative has won two from four in New Zealand and was well-favoured in early NZ Derby markets, but a minor injury held it back.

“Provocative was one of the early favourites for the New Zealand Derby but had a setback, which was most unfortunate,” Pike said.

“If she can win one here first, she would be an ideal Queensland Oaks horse.”

Sir Moments on the comeback trail

Sir Moments won at its third start back from a 12-month lay-off and it will look to continue its winning way in the Listed Tails Stakes at the Sunshine Coast on April 23.

The Steve O’Dea-trained runner is looking to go back-to-back in the Tails Stakes, but it will be having its first run at Sunshine Coast. The Tails Stakes was switched from Doomben after last year’s running, but O’Dea believes it will play in its favour.

Crownbet.com.au

“He’s won three times at Doomben but it’s not really his preferred track because of his racing pattern,” O’Dea said.

“The race being switched to a big track like the Sunshine Coast looks to be in his favour, and although he will have to carry a big weight again, he is looking for the mile now.”

Sir Moments will then head for the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes over 1800m at the Gold Coast after running second up behind Leebaz last year.

Sir Moments is a $51 chance at CrownBet.com.au for the 2016 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.

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