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Chris Waller wins third Doncaster Mile
By Caryl Williamson
17:46 AEST Sat Apr 20 2013

Less than an hour after Royal Descent annihilated the Oaks field, trainer Chris Waller claimed his third Doncaster Mile with Sacred Falls on a day he almost scratched most of his runners.

The heavy track concerned Waller and he was fearful Sacred Falls would not handle the ground, but he did so with ease inflicting the first Sydney defeat on Pierro with Norzita third in a battle of the three-year-olds.

A Group One winner in New Zealand, Sacred Falls came to Waller undefeated from six starts but his Sydney preparation was not without its problems.

It all fell into place on Saturday when Sacred Falls ($19) came from last on the home turn along the fence to claim gallant favourite Pierro ($3.50) by three-quarters of a length with Norzita ($11) an identical margin third.

"We thought about not running," Waller said.

"If it was left up to me we would have hardly had any runners today at all.

"Sacred Falls came to me with a record of six from six but then it went pear shaped.

"I scratched this horse before what was to be his second-up start because of the wet track.

"After he ran second to It's A Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas, albeit beaten a long way, I knew we had him where we wanted him."

Sydney's premier trainer after a decade in Sydney, New Zealander Waller claimed his first Group One victory in 2008 when three-year-old Triple Honour won the Doncaster and his second two years later with Rangirangdoo.

"I can't describe the feeling," he said.

"I don't think you ever get used to it."

Sacred Falls was ridden by Tommy Berry whose wins during the carnival include the richest of all, the Golden Slipper on Overreach for his boss Gai Waterhouse, the trainer of Pierro.

Nash Rawiller rode Pierro and said he would recommend the colt run against Australian Derby winner It's A Dundeel in next week's Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

"I felt him (Sacred Falls) coming," Rawiller said.

"I fought Norzita off but he harpooned through.

"Four kilos is like 12 kilos in this weather.

"I'd want to see him in the Queen Elizabeth. I'd like to see him go out on a winning note."

The Queen Elizabeth won't be the plan for Sacred Falls who is headed for a break.

"He's spent," Waller said.

The colt is owned by the Raffles Syndicate who also race New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred who didn't handle the wet ground in the Australian version, finishing 26 lengths from Royal Descent.

The group, which races horses in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, also owned 2011 Australian Derby winner Shamrocker.

"It's really satisfying to win for these people," Waller said.

"They have come a long way in a short time."

Norzita's effort to run third pleased her jockey Craig Williams who had her up on the speed after she jumped better than anything in the race.

"She's run a great race," Williams said.

"I found myself in the front line and I had to test her.

"It didn't quite come off but Group One races are won in inches."

Streama, the winner of the Oaks a year ago, did best of the older horses to run fourth with Sacred Falls' stablemate, nine-year-old Danleigh fifth.

Waller's other runners Shoot Out and Red Tracer finished sixth and 15th respectively.


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