Trainer Guy Walter believes that Group 1 winning mare Appearance is back to her best ahead of her 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
Appearance was plagued by minor health issues during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and had just two race starts; failing to fire in both the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 14 and the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at the same venue on September 28.
Walter told Sky Racing HQ yesterday that Appearance relished a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock and he believes that she will be ready to perform when she returns to the races in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 8.
“She trialed out at Hawkesbury on Monday in a short trial and she will have another short trial Friday week at Randwick,” Walter said.
“She will run in the Expressway Stakes and she is going very well.
“She had a lot of problems last spring, she only got to the races a couple of times, but she is a different mare now.
“She looks like she did at this time last year.”
Appearance stamped herself as a Group 1 contender with a narrow win in the 2012 Myer Classic (1600m) and backed that victory up with a string of impressive performances during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Commands mare finished second behind She’s Clean in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 23 and had no luck when fifth in the Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on March 9.
She returned to her best form with a tight win over Red Tracer and Norzita in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 23 and made it back-to-back wins with a narrow victory in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) a fortnight later before finishing her campaign with a seventh place finish in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 20.
Appearance is expected to follow a similar path this preparation; with the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on March 22, the Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick on April 12 and the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, which is now run over a mile, all on the agenda for the three-time Group 1 winner.