Waller likes to mirror successful preparations with his horses and Funstar was always going to follow the Kolding path via the Epsom.
The latter won the group 1 mile, but was better off at the weights as he wasn’t a group 1 winner, whereas Funstar paid the price for wins as three-year-old. She was brave in the Epsom, beating all but Probabeel home at Randwick at the beginning of the month.
“She is in good shape and back at the set weights she gets an advantage back she gave away in the Epsom,” Waller said.
Punters have rallied to Funstar, who will be ridden by Tommy Berry on Saturday, with the prospect of a wet track and her proven record on soft ground where all five of her wins have come including the Flight Stakes and Phar Lap Stakes.
“The punters are going with the form they can trust in Funstar and moving away from Alligator Blood, who has been favourite since this market opened,” TAB’s Glenn Munsie said. “She has the strongest form in the race through the Epsom and meets everything from that race that finished behind her on better terms.”
Waller will also run Golden Pendant winner Subpoenaed in the Golden Eagle and could run Reloaded if he doesn’t get a start in the Cantala Stakes in Melbourne.
“Subpoenaed is a lot better at Rosehill and she likes to get to the outside of runners so that is what we will be trying to do,” Waller said. “Reloaded is a colt, so we would prefer to try him in the group 1 in Melbourne, but we will wait and see if he makes that field.”
Godolphin will have two runners led by Silver Eagle winner Flit. They will make a decision whether she will be joined by Australian Oaks winner Colette or Criaderas, who was left on the fringe of the field after being beaten at Randwick on Saturday.
“We are thinking about sending Colette down to Melbourne for the Empire Rose Stakes,” Godolphin boss Vin Cox said.
“It is a discussion we will have on Monday and we would like to run Criaderas but he is a fair way down the order of entry.”
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will run Dawn Passage, Epsom placegetter Riodini and Just Thinkin’ with Vinery Stakes winner Shout The Bar to head to Melbourne for the Empire Rose Stakes.
Trainer Brad Widdup will be hoping Icebath gets a significant lift in her benchmark after winning the last at Randwick on Saturday. She needs a penalty of about nine points to get into the Golden Eagle field.
“If she does everything right and we get some points in the benchmark, I would love to run her,” he said.
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald