Two trials at Warwick Farm were filled with racing stars

Horse Racing News
Two trials at Warwick Farm were filled with racing stars

Chris Waller, Ciaron Maher and Annabel Neasham all had some of their stable stars on show at the Warwick Farm trials.

News Insights

  • Group 1 winners aplenty in action
  • Waller stars taking it easy
  • Tiz Invincible wins the opening trial
  • Learning To Fly back on the track

On Tuesday, Warwick Farm had a couple of trials restricted to horses of Listed level and above. They were incredibly well supported by trainers and looked like a who’s who of the Group 1 performers in training.

The prominent trainers came out in force to trial their runners with the big autumn targets looming on the horizon. The opening two trials had six runners with some big names on show. While most of these were not given more than just a piece of work, it was great to see the stars back in action ahead of returning to race action from February onwards.

Chris Waller runners

Four of the six runners in the opening trial were from the Chris Waller Stable. They were Buckaroo, Lazzago, Fangirl and Militarize. Buckaroo set the early fractions before being headed. Lazzago was ridden with serious restraint but was allowed his head a fraction late to stride home into third while Fangirl and Militarize were ridden stone cold.


Buckaroo is still adapting to life here after arriving in the spring to run 7th in the King Charles and 5th in the Mackinnon for Joseph O Brien. Lazzago has not been the same since badly hampered in the Golden Slipper. Fangirl enjoyed an excellent spring prep, winning two Group 1 races, while Militarize took out the Group 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill. 

In the second trial, Waller had three of the six runners, with Riff Rocket, Atishu, and Espiona all given an easy time of things to fill the back half of the trial. None of them were allowed to get too close, all being provided an easy time of things as the front pair were allowed to draw clear.


Riff Rocket stepped up to 2500m to win the Victoria Derby when he last raced and is clearly a smart stayer. Atishu was also a Group 1 winner on her last start, taking out the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. Espiona finished 4th in the VRC Classic on her previous start and was a multiple Group 2 winner in her most recent preparation.

Annabel Neasham returnee

Learning To Fly missed her entire spring campaign with an injury after the Golden Slipper last March. The now three-year-old filly had been unbeaten heading into that Group 1 race last autumn after three wins and was a little unlucky to suffer interference and lose her rider. 


Only a $6.50 chance with the betting sites that day. It was great to see her back in action, and connections will hope she can make up for lost time this autumn. She was allowed to stride on a little more than the Waller inmates, sitting second early before getting to the front.

Ciaron Maher trialists 

Tiz Invincible won trial one. She took a lead early but got to the front around the bend and was allowed to stride out to the winning line. Group 1 company looked beyond her after a Group 2 win, but she is worth another try at the top table to prove those runs wrong.


Griff set the pace in trial two before he was overhauled by Learning To Fly late on. Neither was pushed out to the line, so it was no more than having a blow. He showed his best form in the spring when he went from the front to salute in the Caulfield Guineas, and he once more looked to enjoy striding along in front of the field.

It was great to see some of the big names in the sport have a hit out at Warwick Farm on Tuesday. With the autumn campaigns being finalised, we should see plenty more of these stars in the coming weeks, with the first Group 1 races on February 10 at Randwick and Caulfield. 

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