Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina will head to the 2015 Australian Guineas after he recorded a very tough win in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Wandjina overraced and did plenty wrong in the early stages of the CS Hayes Stakes and talented Western Australian galloper Disposition looked like his winner of the outside in the final stages of the race, but Wandjina was able to fight him off to record an impressive victory.
Adrian Bott, the Racing Manager for Gai Waterhouse, was thrilled to see Wandjina return to winning form in his first race start since he ran in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and confirmed that the three-year-old would press on to the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in a fortnight.
“He did a few things wrong in the run, so it was pleasing to see him get the result in the end,” Bott said.
“He is an incredibly tough horse, Gai has always had an opinion of him and he has had a few luckless campaigns.
“Towards the end of last campaign he really started to put it together and he has come back in great order this time around.
“He has been prepared in the Melbourne stable all the way through this time in this campaign with the main aim being the Australian Guineas.”
While to the naked eye Wandjina looked like he did plenty of work in the early stages of the race, jockey Damien Oliver revealed that he did not believe that the Snitzel colt overworked in front of the CS Hayes Stakes.
Oliver admitted after the race that he thought Disposition would be able to run past Wandjina in the final stages and he was quick to pay credit to the toughness that the three-year-old showed in the final stages of the race.
“He wasn’t actually that keen and they were going pretty slow,” Oliver said.
“I didn’t really expect to be in front, but San Nicasio never really showed the speed that he did the other day and I was pretty comfortable there doing it.
“I just felt that we were going pretty leisurely for two thirds of the race and he had a good kick for me.
“When the Western Australian horse came at him I thought that he was going to have to be pretty tough to fight him off, but he did and it was a good effort.”