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Resolute reason for Waller filly to come up Roses

Fri 24 May 2024

By Mandy Cottell

Tutta La Vita’s appearance at Doomben will be an important milestone for Resolute Racing’s expansion into Australia.

It carries Group 2 status, but The Roses will have a distinct Group 1 feel for trainer Chris Waller as he prepares to saddle up the first Australian runner for John Stewart's Resolute Racing.

The American business tycoon created headlines earlier this year when he announced his intention to make an audacious play for the yearling filly out of Winx at the Inglis Easter Sale.

While he emerged as the underbidder, it didn't take Stewart long to get back on top, paying $3.2 million for multiple Group 1 placegetter Tutta La Vita at the Chairman's Sale, buying her as a racing and breeding prospect.

That filly will be the first to sport Resolute Racing's black and blue silks in Australia when she lines up in The Roses over 2000 metres at Doomben on Saturday and Waller says that is significant for the industry.

"It's a big thing," Waller said.

"It would be great to have some more American investment and overseas investment into Australia.

"I think being so far away we often get forgotten, but other people will read into his (Stewart's) presence here in Australia."

With many overseas eyes watching with interest to see how the first of Stewart's investments fares, Waller is understandably keen for Tutta La Vita to make an immediate impact.

The three-year-old has a single win from 11 starts but she is a three-time Group 1 placegetter and Saturday's 2000 metre race will serve as a springboard into the Queensland Oaks over 2200 metres where connections hope she can claim her maiden major.

On the third line of betting at $5, Tutta La Vita is one of two Roses runners for Waller, along with the emerging Scarlet Oak, however, Waller feels Tutta La Vita's experience could prove telling against the race favourite.

"She (Scarlet Oak) is very good but it's only her fourth career start and she has had the trip from New Zealand, a trip to Queensland, I'm just a bit cautious of that," Waller said.

"That's the only thing separating them."

Kovalica is the $3.50 favourite for Saturday's flagship race, the Group 1 Doomben Cup over 2000 metres, and Waller is happy to see him draw barrier three after a string of wide gates at his past four starts.

"Perfect. It's a big plus, he's had bad barriers for a long time," Waller said.

"He's looking for the distance, he's waiting for a better track.

"I couldn't be happier with him; I just want to see him do it."

Kovalica finished third in the corresponding race last year as a three-year-old before backing up to win the Queensland Derby seven days later.