Trainer Guy Walter has confirmed that Group 1 winning mare Appearance will return to the races in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Walter has always considered the Show County Quality the likely spring kick-off point for Appearance but he was tempted to include her in the late nominations for the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) after the race only received six nominations.
A tilt at the Toy Show Quality would have set up a mouth-watering dual between the triple Group 1 winner and classy mare Royal Descent but Walter made the decision to stick to his original plan.
Appearance stamped herself as a leading Group 1 contender with a surprise victory in the Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and proved that it was no fluke by recording tough victories in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) in the autumn.
Becoming the first horse in history to defend their Myer Classic title is the major spring goal for the daughter of Commands and Walter believes that the five-year-old has returned this preparation in excellent condition.
“She has done well,” Walter told AAP.
“The plan is for her to have two or three runs in Sydney and then head to Melbourne for the Tristarc Stakes before the Myer.”
Appearance will head into the Show County Quality with two barrier trials under her belt, finishing sixth in quiet trials at both Randwick on August 2 and Warwick Farm on August 16.
The classy mare has an excellent first-up record, winning two of four starts first-up, and has started her last two preparations with a third place finish in the Group 2 The Shorts (1200m) and a second place finish in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m).
The Show County Quality proved to be an excellent form race in 2012, with winner Moment Of Change going on to win the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) later in the spring.