Chris Waller is getting better at coping with his record quest, but he is drawing on the experience of rival trainers Peter Snowden and Gai Waterhouse as the mark gets closer.
Victories by Relaxed And Happy, Titbit and Said Com at Rosehill on Saturday took Waller to 152½ wins for the season in Sydney, setting him up to break the record of 156 wins jointly held by Tommy Smith (1975-76) and Waterhouse (2002-03).
”I have been talking to Peter Snowden and Gai about it because they have been through it before,” Waller said on Saturday. ”It is hard because you set yourself goals and this one is getting closer all the time.
”They have told me to sit back and enjoy it because you work so hard to get to this place. They also talked to me about quality of life, that sitting back 5 per cent can give you a 50 per cent better life.”
Snowden, who produced Sessions for a devastating first-up success, took time to have a quiet word with Waller after another treble.
”It is a bit about self-belief and not putting extra pressure on yourself,” Snowden said. ”He is under different pressure than me but I have talked to him about it. I said to him well done about today and to enjoy it.”
Relaxed And Happy gave Waller win No.150 early in the day, but winners continued to flow as Clever Boy and Son Of Ross won at Newcastle to make it five for the day. ”It  is a big number and just counting down to these last few wins hasn’t been easy,” Waller said. ”It is just one at a time throughout a long season.”
One of Waller’s great strengths has been to improve each year but he realised with the reduction in city meetings next season this might have been his only chance to break the record.
”I was aware of that, but the record doesn’t really drive me,” he said. ”It is there but I wanted to improve as a trainer. For the past three years I thought there was a lot of improvement left. I’m still getting better as a trainer. Our systems are getting better and our horses are getting better. Our strike rate is up this year, which is a great indicator that things are getting better.”
Waller was quick to point out after Titbit’s victory that it was important to place horses in the right races.
”She wins that race and gives the owner some more confidence and there might be another horse that comes into the stable,” Waller said. Waller needs four wins in Sydney next week to break the record. He admits to having a couple of chances at Canterbury on Wednesday, so the moment might come at Randwick next Saturday.
He will also be chasing his ninth group 1 winner for the season in the Tattersall’s Tiara at Eagle Farm next Saturday, with Red Tracer and She’s Clean spearheading his challenge. There is a chance he could win the Sydney premiership, group 1 title and most winners Australia-wide, where he is in battle with Snowden’s powerful Darley operation.
”I don’t think about those things,” Waller said. ”I’ll just try to keep placing my horses well.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.