Co-trainer David Hayes has confirmed that the 2015 Australian Guineas will be the major target for undefeated filly Wawail after she comfortably won a barrier trial at Tatura yesterday.
Wawail contested the eighth barrier trial of the morning over 850 metres at Tatura with Michael Walker in the saddle and the in-form hoop settled the Lonhro filly wide of her rivals in the early stages of the trial.
Walker kept the three-year-old under a heavy hold until the 400 metre and she showed impressive acceleration when she was asked for an extra effort before she cantered over the line to record a very easy win from Sierra Gypsy, while there was a large gap back to For Heaven’s Sake and Blaze On.
Hayes told TVN that he was happy with the performance of Wawail in the barrier trial and he confirmed that she was on track for her return to races at Flemington on January 31.
“She did what we wanted her to do,” Hayes said.
Wawail will have her second-up start in either the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 14 or the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21 before she takes on the boys in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
The Lonhro filly made her racing debut with a comfortable win over Sakito and Jinx in the Beveridge Williams Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on December 11, but she did not race again as a two-year-old after going amiss.
Wawail returned to racing with a narrow win over Devon Princess and Roll The Ignition in the Quest Moonee Valley Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 31 and she was sent back to the spelling paddock after she recorded her maiden black type win in the Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1400m) at Sandown on November 15.
Hayes is chasing his fourth win in the Australian Guineas after previously winning the race with King’s High (1989), Zabeel (1990) and Miss Finland (2007), while Wawail has the chance to join Mosheen (2012), Shamrocker (2011), Miss Finland (2007) and Triscay (1991) as the only fillies to have won the Australian Guineas in the past 30 years.
The 2015 edition of the Australian Guineas will be run at Flemington on the same day as the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) is conducted in Sydney.