Unable to secure a victory for close to two years despite contesting several positive results, a resounding triumph for Specific Choice in the TAB Rewards 3.y.o+ (2000m) at Royal Randwick last weekend has trainer Chris Waller considering a path for the rising five-year-old through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Finishing a disappointing eighth in a minor event over 1400m at Warwick Farm on July second, the sharp step-up in distance combined with the appointment of in-form jockey Tye Angland were without doubt the factors necessary for a long-awaited return to the winner’s circle for Specific Choice.
Initially eyeing a return to the spelling paddock for the Lonhro gelding, Waller is now offered the option of targeting such events as the Group 2 Hill Stakes in Sydney over the same track and distance as his three-length TAB Rewards triumph.
“Normally if they show you some ability they will get it but you have to do everything right,” Waller said of Specific Choice’s successful step up in distance.
“You have to relax and you have to switch off when you get up in grade.
“He’s more a sprinter than a stayer but the jockey won the race; it was a good smart ride because he went around them when they were dawdling.
“If there had been a mile race I would have run in it but you can only run in what you’re dealt with.
“Most 2000m races in Sydney are won by milers; a different type of horse goes to Melbourne and wins 2000m races.
“You have to have a sharp miler to win a 2000m race and that will be what we do in the next few runs.”
Contesting a record of three race wins and six minor places from 16 competitive starts so far, Specific Choice was unlucky to be blocked for a run and seventh in his first start over 1400m this time in, but displayed a keen turn of foot to run on for third in the TAB Iphone APP 3.y.o+ (1200m) just two weeks later most notably.
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