Chris Waller

Copyright Colin Bull

New Zealander Chris Waller made Australian racing history quickly, and comprehensively. Ten years after settling in Australia he had seven times become champion trainer in Sydney. Twice in that period he established new records for the most city wins by a trainer in a season. Around Australia in that decade he trained the winners of 75 Group 1 races – most famously Winx, triple Cox Plate winner, the greatest racehorse of her generation.
Born in 1974, Waller grew up in rural Foxton on New Zealand’s North Island. In his twenties he took over the stables of trainer Paddy Busuttin and took a team of just four horses to race in Australia in 2000. He moved permanently to Sydney in 2007, expanding his Rosehill stables.

His big break came in 2008 when Bob Ingham, following the sale of his Woodlands stud, bought a group of high priced yearlings at the Sydney Easter yearling sales and entrusted their training to Waller. A few weeks later Waller achieved his first Group 1 when Triple Honour won the Doncaster Handicap at Randwick. The next season saw his second Group 1 with Danelagh in the All-Aged Stakes. In season 2010-11 he became Sydney’s premier trainer for the first time.

Waller’s association with Ingham underpinned this expansion of his training operation, but he also trained for other clients. He established additional stables at Warwick Farm and, interstate, at Flemington and the Gold Coast.

His total of 167.5 winners in 2012-13 broke the record of 156 held jointly by Hall of Fame trainers Tommy Smith and Gai Waterhouse. In 2014 he became the first person in Australian racing history to train the winners of $20 million in prize money in a single season. In 2016 Waller was inducted into New Zealand’s Racing Hall of Fame.

"It shows you can do it; it doesn't matter what your bank balance is or where you've come from or what your experience is, anybody can do anything in life," (Chris Waller)

Image Source: Colin Bull