Guy Walter-trained Appearance has upset fancied stablemate Streama to win the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) in another boil over at Flemington today.
Leading chances Streama and Red Tracer battled for the lead early, with the Stratum four-year-old having to work extremely hard to take up the running on the rail while Appearance was switched off and travelling beautifully near the tail of the field.
The early pressure set the race up perfectly for the backmakers and with 100 metres to go there were six winning chances spread right across the track.
Appearance charged down the outside to take the lead in the final fifty metres and narrowly held off the fast finishing Soft Sand and the gutsy Secret Admirer to win her first Group 1 in a blanket finish.
It was a terrific ride from Michael Rodd who navigated a tricky barrier to give the Commands four-year-old the last crack at the field.
“They rolled along early and I had a lovely run,” Rodd said.
“She was really strong, I brought her to the outside and gave her a bit of room to wind up.”
Guy Walter admitted that he was surprised by the result but was delighted to claim a Group 1 on Victoria Derby Day.
“It’s not the result I expected, I thought Streama could win but the way the race worked out she had to work very hard early,” Walter said.
Appearance finish seventh behind Streama in the Tristarc Stakes a fornight ago but Walter said the pace of the race meant that she never had a chance.
“They went very slowly at Caulfield (in the Tristarc Stakes) and it made it hard for anything to make up ground,” the veteran trainer said.
“I think you could forgive her for that run but I still didn’t think she could win like she did today.
“I’d just like to say how happy I am to win for Darley, they have been very loyal to me over the years, so I am thrilled to win a Group 1 for them.
The victory was Walter’s twenty-eighth Group 1 victory and comes just a week after his most successful horse Tie The Knot passed away after suffering a colic attack.