Grace’s Secret will be a bit of an unknown to Australian punters, but trainer Chris Waller is hoping that will change at Randwick on Saturday.
The New Zealand-bred filly will make her Australian debut in the Gr.2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) where she will be out to continue her unbeaten record.
The daughter of Vadamos won her two previous starts in her homeland for former trainers Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong, including the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) in her last start at Riccarton in November.
She has had three trials for Waller, winning her 950m heat at Beaudesert earlier this month before returning to Rosehill to run fourth over 900m last week.
Waller has been pleased with what he has seen from the filly so far, but he believes she will appreciate further ground than her 1200m assignment this weekend.
“She is a bit of an unknown to Australian circles but her work and in particular her trial were pretty good,” Waller said.
“She has won twice in New Zealand and she is by Vadamos, and they are starting to run well. She is a filly we think will get over further.”
Grace’s Secret is one of four stakes winners for her sire to date from three crops of racing age, which includes Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up La Crique, who is on a path towards Melbourne this spring.
Vadamos will stand at Rich Hill Stud this season for a fee of $15,000+GST.
Earlier on the card, Waller will line-up Lord Ardmore in the Gr.3 Premier’s Cup (2000m) for New Zealand syndicator Go Racing.
The son of Reliable Man has been in good form this preparation, winning two of his three starts and finishing runner-up when first-up over 1300m at Randwick in June.
“He is in great form, winning his last two,” Waller said. “Hugh Bowman rides and he has got a good draw (5). He looks hard to beat.”
Lord Ardmore was purchased by Go Racing principal Albert Bosma out of The Oaks Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $65,000.
He won one of his nine starts in New Zealand for former trainer Stephen McKee before transferring to Waller’s care in Sydney where he has won a further four races from 10 starts.
He will be joined in Saturday’s race by compatriot Toomuchtobear, another New Zealand Bloodstock graduate.
He was initially purchased by Carlaw Park as a weanling out of Dan Myers’ May Sale draft in 2018 before he went back through the ring at Karaka as a yearling where he was knocked down to the $120,000 bid of bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster on behalf of Chris Waller.
He has won five and placed in six of his 14 starts, including a runner-up result in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) behind Cross Talk at Rosehill last start.
“He is going great. His two runs over shorter distances have been very good,” Waller said.
“He has been working well at home and he has just come back a man now – he is a more mature horse.
“He is in for a great prep and is going to be hard to beat on Saturday.”