Leo Schlink in London — News Corp Australia
BRAZEN Beau’s trainer has deflected criticism of Craig Williams’ Diamond Jubilee ride after the favourite was overrun in the dying stages.
Williams was panned by British media figures for plotting a solo course near the grandstand rail while the majority of the field — including Frankie Dettori on Undrafted — drove up the centre of the track.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Undrafted cut down Brazen Beau in the dying stages to win by half a length with Gai Waterhouse’s Wandjina a brave sixth.
Trainer Chris Waller praised Williams’ strategy.
“We had a great rider aboard, he put plenty of thought into it, and we almost pulled it off,” Waller said. “Had he won they all would have been praising the ride of the carnival so to speak because it’s been tough out there.
“The races have been favouring the inside draws. That’s racing. No I wouldn’t have done anything different,” he said.
Waller and Williams spoke briefly post-race, surrounded by a small army of Brazen Beau owners.
“I was just saying well done,” Waller said. “We gave it our best shot. You can say ‘If this happened, if we did this, if we did that’, but that’s racing.
“If you start beating yourself up for running second you’re not going to go home a very happy person,” he said.
Williams walked the track before the meeting and decided the outside strip of track was the best from barrier 15. He said Waller told him to back himself.
“It’s (Brazen Beau’s) first time here. He had to do all the running on his own on his side and he lost a bit of concentration throughout the race,” Williams said. “You have to commend him he was just so gallant unfortunately he ran second and no-one remembers who ran second. But a fantastic run by my horse he did a great job.
“He represented Australia really proud. But it’s a lot nicer to run first,” he said. “Under no circumstances did he lay down — it was truly Aussie spirit and he fought hard.”
Waterhouse was delighted with Wandjina’s effort in what is probably his last start before retiring to stud.
“I was delighted with him,” Waterhouse said. “Of course, everyone wants to win but I thought he never discredited us. He’s a credit to himself.
“He was very tough to the line. They just sprinted too brilliantly for him,” she said. “He never gave up, he was there to the fighting finish.
Damien Oliver said Wandjina briefly gave hope of figuring in the finish.
“I was thinking I was a real chance and then he couldn’t kick on with the first few,” Oliver said. “But he stuck to his task really well. He gave us a big thrill for a while.”
Oliver (second on Robert le Diable in the Wokingham Stakes) and James McDonald (third on sixth sense in the Chesham Stakes) came close to success.
Brazen Beau’s narrow defeat capped a frustrating meeting for Australian trainers.
Criterion finished fifth in the Prince of Wales Stakes, while Shamal Wind was retired after a lacklustre 13th in the King’s Stand Stakes.
Three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux remains on course for a fourth spring campaign despite finishing a distant last behind Snow Sky in the Hardwicke Stakes.
The nine-year-old was eased down with 200m to go by jockey James Doyle after being unsuited by the track and tempo.