Champion Trainer Would Love to Win the Melbourne Cup Again

Ben H / 11 October 2023

Chris Waller won the Melbourne Cup in 2021 with Verry Elleegant and is eager for a repeat of his historic success. The esteemed trainer and 152-time Group 1 winner knows it can be done and said that punters, trainers, jockeys, and owners who won the Cup once all shared the same feeling and thought “The next one is doable.”

Moving to a Proving Ground of Champions

Waller has the logistics, numbers, and racing talent to compete for more Cups. He has further increased his chances by incorporating the Macedon Lodge stable, the training centre that helped create four Melbourne Cup winners, as a proving ground in preparations for this year’s assault on the Cup.

Ethereal and Efficient, who won the Cup in 2001 and 2007 respectively, as well as Green Moon (2012) and Almandin (2016), are the champions the stable helped produce. Waller will be hoping that either one of Soulcombe or Francesco Guardi, his top two Melbourne Cup assets, now Macedon residents, will follow in the footsteps of former Macedon Lodge dwellers.

Soulcombe was third in the two-thousand-metre Group 1 Turnbull Stakes last week, while Francesco Guardi started late and finished seventh but should be much better in the Caulfield Cup.

Getting Horses Fitter and Making Them Happier

Waller said that “Macedon Lodge is synonymous to making Melbourne Cup winners and great horses”, and past Cup performances have shown that to be true.

So, when he was told that the stable was available, “it looked an obvious choice,” as it would allow Waller and his team “to get horses fitter,” as well as make them happier and put them in a better state mentally. The trainer was delighted with how the ground looked, saying it was “a very natural environment” where horses would thrive.

However, Waller is also aware that winning the Melbourne Cup on multiple occasions is easier said than done. Only four trainers have managed to achieve that feat since 1983.

The 2021 winner noted that not many people will ever know how it feels to win the Cup despite investing a lot of time and energy in doing so. So, when it does happen, Waller said the feeling was surreal, as you have won not just the race that stops a nation but also the race that stops the world.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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