By Duane Fonseca
Looking back at a career of more than 150 Group One wins must be quite something. For someone who will never train a horse, let alone climb aboard the back of one, I am hardly able to comprehend the absolute magnanimity of the feat.
However, I do boast a vivid imagination and my mind started to teem with numerous possibilities once I began to question what the feeling would be like.
Comparing Waller to one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, may seem a stretch at first thought, but the comparison bears merit.
Thinking back on how the most celebrated artists gazed contently at their masterpieces, I feel comfortable pondering what da Vinci might have felt as he wandered backwards, easel and brush in hand, having just put the final touches on his magnum opus; the Mona Lisa - the masterpiece that forever sealed his coronation as one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance.
For the self-effacing Waller, creating his own equine masterpieces must provide a similar sense of satisfaction.
“We have got an amazing team who just keep producing good horses, you never forget them. I am thankful for my team, and I am fortunate to have them,” said Waller. “I’ve been lucky enough to be dealing with some really good horses for a long time. They are all exceptional athletes. I get emotional talking about how much it means to me; horses mean a lot to me.”
'HORSES CHANGE LIVES'
The opening page of his website; cwallerracing.com, has a quote attributed to the New Zealand-born and Sydney-based Waller. It reads like this: ‘Horses change lives, they deliver dreams and they are treated with utmost respect’. For the Kiwi, they have done just that. There are many names that stand out for Waller, but the one that changed his life and delivered his dreams is the Australian wonder mare Winx, who won him nearly a fifth of his 153 top-tier wins with her exploits along Australia’s Boomerang Coast, where Waller mainly operates, now legendary.
Winx captured a record-equalling three Cox Plates and, during her active years, was the highest rated racehorse in the world with a rating of 132.