Darley’s Group 1 winning mare Appearance caused a huge upset with a comfortable win in the Group 2 $200,000 SCSI Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.
Appearance has re-emerged as a major Autumn Carnival contender after a poor Spring Carnival and on today’s win will be a force in any of the feature races trainer Guy Walter decides to run her in.
After claiming a Group 1 double at Rosehill in last year’s Autumn Carnival with wins in the $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and the $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m), Appearance failed to fire in the Spring with two unplaced runs.
But with a good spell since, Walter has got the Commands mare firing and ready to compete at Group 1 level again.
“She’s a fantastic mare, her record shows that. She has come out and beaten a top class field today and beaten them well,” Walter said.
“A beautiful mare. Had her problems last Spring but she went out and had a good spell, she has been flying this time. I am so pleased for her.”
“I think she could have a very big Autumn ahead of her.”
Winning rider Blake Shinn was able to bury Appearance ($16) back in the field with Rain Affair setting up a solid tempo up front and when he eased her into the clear at the top of the rise, the mare exploded to score a comfortable one and a quarter lengths win from the Queensland sprinter River Lad ($41) and Chris Waller’s new stable acquisition Sizzling ($12).
The two disappointments in the race were Rain Affair ($5) who folded in the straight to finish last and race favourite Boban ($2.40) who failed to run on after being slightly held up for a run in the straight.
Walter has a couple of options for Appearance and could head to the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 22 followed by the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Or he could keep her fresh and head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8.
And he hasn’t ruled out another run in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12 after finishing seventh to Sacred Falls last year.
“She will be nominated of course in the Doncaster. She may run now in the Apollo or the Chipping Norton. She is also in the Newmarket. We might not run her for a month and run her in the Newmarket,” Walter said.