Golden Rose 2023 lead-up for The Everest bound Shinzo

Chris Waller has had a change of heart and is leaning towards running Shinzo first-up in the Golden Rose as he warms to an Everest start for the star colt.

The Golden Slipper winner was initially slated to resume in next Saturday’s The Run To The Rose (1200m), alongside ATC Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes winner Militarize, but now neither is likely to appear in the three-year-old race.

Waller cautioned he still needed to confer with the high-profile owners of both horses, but felt Shinzo was best kept fresh to allow him to have a serious Everest shot.

“I’d definitely like to keep them apart. I’d say they will end up clashing in the Golden Rose, but I think they will be going on different paths from there,” Waller said.

“The way I’m thinking at the moment – and don’t read into it too much, I’ve got to speak to (Shinzo’s owners) Coolmore and I’ve got to speak to (Militarize’s owners) Newgate and their shareholders, they will tell me where they’re running – but I’d have a slight leaning to Shinzo going straight to the Golden Rose because then I’m keeping him fresh and then I can go to The Everest.

“If we want to be serious about an Everest, and he’s good enough to be there, (then we) keep him fresh, don’t over-race him, keep him sharp.”

Waller was speaking after Shinzo and Militarize worked together in an exhibition gallop at Randwick on Saturday, Shinzo (James McDonald) setting the pace and shading Militarize (Kerrin McEvoy) by a long head on the line, the pair covering 1000m in 1:03.99.

Both looked to have returned bigger and stronger and significantly, Waller was thrilled with how they handled the race day occasion.

“I was particularly happy to see how they coped with the day. That was the whole idea of the exercise, to make sure they’re ready for game day and still cool, calm and collected,” he said.

Militarize is likely to be nominated for The Run To The Rose (1200m) but under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race, the two-time Group 1 winner will be high in the handicaps.

With that in mind, Waller says the colt is more likely to kick off in the Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on the same program.

“I just think Theo Marks, 1300, might be a little bit better than a 1200 carrying a big weight,” Waller said.

While The Everest (1200m) is the goal for Shinzo, Militarize will head towards the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) with Waller confident the latter will really hit his straps once he gets to a mile.

“That’s his race. He’ll give them a shock in the Golden Rose but once he gets to that Caulfield Guineas, it will be game on,” he said.

Waller also confirmed all was well with Hinged and he had only opted to scratch her from Saturday’s Chelmsford Stakes due to her wide draw.

She will instead head to the $1 million 7 Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks.

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