HE was once the horse that nobody wanted, now Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller says he wouldn’t swap the unbeaten three-year-old Heart Testa for any other in tomorrow’s Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
A powerfully built son of Testa Rossa, Heart Testa failed to reach his $36,000 reserve as a yearling and was returned to breeder Gerry Harvey.
“It’s a typical example of good horses not selling at sales. When they get to the races and matured, you say to yourself why didn’t I buy you as a yearling,” Waller said.
Heart Testa has managed to string together four impressive wins including a hard fought debut victory over last Sunday’s Canberra Guineas winner Complicate when they clashed at Newcastle last October.
“We’ve been patient with him and he’s just taken every step. Last start wasn’t as convincing as I would have liked but he’s gone for a break and come back stronger. He’s just a professional racehorse,” says Waller.
Heart Testa signalled his readiness for his black-type initiation with a brilliant trial at Rosehill on March 5 stretching high quality filly Snitzerland while seemingly going three-quarter-pace.
“As you could see in that trial, he just puts his head down and at a strong tempo – he’s got a bit of class,” Waller detected.
“It’s a big step again (tomorrow) but I wouldn’t swap him for any other horse in the race.”
The presence of Ichihara and local Golden Sunshine virtually guarantee a solid tempo which should play into Heart Testa’s favour.
“He’s so versatile and he’s got so much ability. We haven’t had a chance to ride him back yet but you could dead-set ride him on a piece of cotton so if they run a hundred miles an hour, he can take a sit and still get home,” Waller surmised.
Heart Testa’s pedigree is dominated by stallions who excelled at the mile beginning with Testa Rossa as well as dam-sires Flying Spur and Royal Academy which opens the way for the Walled-led galloper to expand his horizons as his career unfolds.
“The further he goes I’d say the better he’d be but we’ll just take one step at a time. We might look at a race like the Epsom in the spring,” Waller said.