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Waller cops tough Coolmore draw on chin

Omei Swor, trained by Chris Waller
Chris Waller has put on a brave face after Omei Sword drew the outside barrier at Rosehill.

Chris Waller has put on a brave face after Coolmore Classic favourite Omei Sword drew the outside barrier in a field of 19 vying for Group One glory at Rosehill.

The three-year-old filly drifted slightly in the TAB fixed odds market on Wednesday from $3 to $3.50 with Brenton Avdulla tasked with guiding Omei Sword from the difficult alley.

“It’s far from ideal but it’s a good long run down the Rosehill straight,” Waller said.

“You could turn it into a positive, give her a bit of room and see how she finishes off.”

Omei Sword was blocked for a run in the straight when second to New Zealand filly La Bella Diosa in her most recent start, the Group Two Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 25.

On a positive note, Waller said Omei Sword’s preparation had been top notch.

“Her first-up run was good. She’d done plenty of work prior to her first-up run. That not only allowed her to race well but also pull up well afterwards as well.

“Second up, 1500 metres, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Omei Sword has not won since claiming the Group Two Silver Shadow Stakes in August and Waller was cautious about her Group One prospects on Saturday.

“She’s a very good horse. You should never underestimate taking on the older horses though. She’s not that well suited at the weights,” he said.

“There’s some pretty well-performed horses at similar weights.

“In the weight-for-age scale she’d be much better suited against a lot of them. Unfortunately she’s been handicapped because of her ability.”

Omei Sword, runner-up to Astern at her only Group One start so far in the Golden Rose in September, carries 52.5kg, half a kilogram more than Schweppes Oaks winner Abbey Marie.

Waller will also saddle up Shellelagh ($26) and French Emotion ($71).

Coolmore second favourite Dixie Blossoms ($7) has drawn gate 12 while dual Group One-winning filly Global Glamour has barrier 16, one inside topweight First Seal.

La Bella Diosa will jump from gate three.

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