Tannhauser earns G1 shot

Chris Waller plans to follow a tried and tested path with Tannhauser.

Improving colt Tannhauser will be given the chance to attempt a feat achieved by Prince Fawaz and The Autumn Sun after securing a berth in the Group 1 J J Atkins with a stylish victory at Randwick. 

Tannhauser finished strongly from back in the field to capture Saturday's Wilson Asset Management Handicap (1400m), the same race both Prince Fawaz (2019) and The Autumn Sun (2018) claimed on the way winning Brisbane's two-year-old showpiece. 

The Randwick assignment was Tannhauser's first run since April with trainer Chris Waller opting to freshen him up for a Queensland campaign after scratching him from the Champagne Stakes in the autumn due to a wet track. 

"We knew he wouldn't enjoy the heavy track in the Champagne (Stakes) and the connections already had the favourite, Militarize, so we decided to ease back with Tannhauser and go to Brisbane," Waller's assistant Charlie Duckworth said. 

"The plan is coming to fruition now. 

"With the blinkers he has gone to a new level today. 

"We felt he was way over the odds today and he has justified that thought." 

Ridden patiently by Jay Ford, Tannhauser ($12) was allowed to find his feet early and once balanced in the straight, he finished hard down the outside to claim debutante Unique Ambition ($101) by a short neck with Vomo Island ($3.70 fav) another 1-1/4 lengths away third. 

Waller has now produced 16 two-year-old winners this season, highlighted by his clean sweep of the Sydney two-year-old triple crown, and is set to have a strong hand in the J J Atkins with Tannhauser to join stablemates Chrysaor and Armed Forces in the race. 

Ford has no doubt the Dundeel colt is still improving and won't be out of his depth in next month's 1 m feature. 

"Obviously being by Dundeel he'll appreciate further, and I think stepping up in grade and going to where he's going, the J J Atkins, is going to get the best out of him," Ford said. 

"Racing a little bit better opposition is going to force him to focus a bit more and I think he's on an upward trend." 

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