Funstar and Probabeel have renewed their rivalry at Rosehill with the former coming out on top to deliver Chris Waller a fourth successive win in the Phar Lap Stakes.
Starting the $1.55 favourite, Funstar made the ledger three-one in her favour on Saturday after James McDonald took up the running on a deteriorating Rosehill track.
Probabeel ($3.20) with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle mounted a challenge from back in the field but Funstar had enough in hand to respond, drawing away again on the line to win by 1-1/4 lengths with Quick Thinker ($15) best of the rest.
Waller, who has now won five of the past six Phar Lap Stakes, said they kept an open mind on tactics after the scratching of expected leader Spend due to the worsening track.
“We had tactics early in the day and we just wanted to have her in a comfort zone knowing she jumps pretty well,” Waller said.
“But when the rain came and Spend came out we just said, ‘ride her as you feel’.
“It was a good test. Kerrin was within striking distance with 200 to go and we had to really put the foot down and it was good to see her respond over the last hundred metres.
“She is like the rising star after Winx and those horses. Yes Yes Yes went amiss at the start of the autumn so horses like her are important to our stable.”
Waller is in two minds about whether to follow a traditional three-year-old fillies path towards the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 or test Funstar against older horses in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick a week later.
But the premier trainer seems certain to err on the side of caution.
“I’d say the Vinery but we need to make a decision pretty quickly because there’s not really a chance of going in both, they’re a week apart,” Waller said.
“Traditionally we’ve gone the Vinery route and it will be hard for me to sway away from that.”
He made it four in a row a race later on the Waller-trained import Imaging in the Ajax Stakes (1500m).
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au