Chris Waller attributes Sambro win to visit to Greg Bennett retreat

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TRAINER Chris Waller credited a trip to Greg Bennett’s property at Canungra as the turning point for Sambro, who raced like a true professional to win the Group 2 Queensland Guineas.

Sambro was scratched at the barriers before the Fred Best Classic two weeks ago. He had won the Hawkesbury Guineas at his previous start.

“He’s a funny horse, but we sent him down to Greg Bennett’s place and the work he’s done with him since then has given the horse some confidence,” Waller said.

“He’s a bit temperamental and that’s why he wears the brow band (across the top of his head), to stop him from rearing up.”

Waller will give consideration to continuing Sambro’s campaign to the Sunshine Coast Guineas in three weeks.

“Who knows? He might be back here next year for something bigger,” he said.

“He’s always been a talent, because he did run second in the Carbine Club Stakes in the spring, but he was gelded (before his autumn campaign) and that might have been the turning point.

Waller said runner-up Seaway was “a prep behind” his stablemate, but the Sunshine Coast Guineas was also an option for him.

“I will definitely run one of the two in that race,” he said.

The race had a dramatic aftermath when winning jockey Michael Walker pulled up clearly distressed. He was too ill to speak to on-course Clerk of the Course interviewer Sam Hyland and dismounted soon after.

Walker was assisted by two security guards bare-chested through the members’ before stewards stood him down for the remainder of the meeting.


SYNDICATOR Grant Morgan said recent discussions about Queensland’s best horse had erroneously overlooked his mare Savanna Amour, who won a fifth stakes race when successful in the Hinkler Handicap.

Savanna Amour looked beautifully placed in the Listed feature and overcame a wet track question mark to beat Sydneysider Missile Coda.

Savanna Amour is trained by Chris Meagher at Eagle Farm and Morgan, whose On Track Thoroughbreds syndicated the mare, makes a solid case for her being rated the best in Queensland.

She is now the winner of five stakes races, headed by a Group 2 and two Group 3 races in Melbourne, in addition to last year’s Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas.

“She deserves to be recognised for what she’s achieved,” Morgan said.

The last remaining piece of the puzzle for Savanna Amour is to win a Group 1 and she will be given her chance to do that in the Tatts Tiara in a fortnight.

Local stables made it an early double when Hopfgarten wound back the clock to win his second Wayne Wilson Mile.

Two years ago, on the opening day of the ‘new’ Eagle Farm, Hopfgarten won the same race.

His form had looked a little indifferent leading into yesterday’s race, but he relished the wet ground and was a touch too strong for the well-backed Ulmann.

“It’s quite emotional to win Wayne’s race. He is sadly missed,” trainer Rob Heathcote said.

“Wayne was an institution in Queensland racing and I take a lot of pride in winning his race for a second time.”

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