Suppression stamps staying promise with gritty win

Still basking in the glow of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup win with star mare Verry Elleegant, the Chris Waller stable was back in the winner’s stall in the opening race at Rosehill, albeit it on a smaller scale.

Improving young stayer Suppression ($3.90 fav) made it two victories in succession with a grinding effort for Tommy Berry in Saturday’s XXXX Handicap (2400m), wearing down Herman Hesse ($4) to score by a neck, with the winner’s stablemate Fortified ($8.50) a distant third.

With Waller in Melbourne, stable representative Charlie Duckworth said the trainer’s team was still buzzing from Verry Elleegant’s success in Australia’s most famous race.

Her Cup win followed Nature Strip’s victory in the $15 million The Everest last month.

“It has just been a real privilege to work with these horses that are just turning up on all the right days and on the main stage,” Duckworth said.

“It’s really special for all the staff. Everyone is just absolutely buzzing. It’s a bit of a liberty getting paid for these weeks.”

By 2015 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, Suppression remains a work in progress and Duckworth says they are still trying to coax the four-year-old to settle better in his races.

Despite his manners, Saturday’s victory was his third from 12 starts and if he can learn to harness his energy, Duckworth has no doubt Suppression can develop into a handy stayer.

“All three past the post – first, second and third – are progressive horses,” Duckworth said.

“It’s a massive amount of prizemoney to win on a Saturday, as it is each and every Saturday, so we’ll just chip away and see how we go but he’s an exciting horse with plenty of potential.

“He is obviously a genuine stayer but if he relaxes, he’s going to progress. It’s going to be how well he can relax to ensure how far he gets. It’s down to him now but it was a pretty tough win.”

Berry made it an early double when he took out the Vale Chris Kearns Highway Handicap (1500m) aboard the Terry Robinson-trained So Say You a race later.

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