Chris Waller-trained Red Tracer will have the chance to turn-the-tables on Appearance when the pair clash in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Group 1 winning pair have met at the highest level of racing on four occasions in the last twelve months and Appearance has finished ahead of Red Tracer each time.
The rivalry started when Red Tracer finished ahead of Appearance in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last October but the Darley-owned mare got the better of Red Tracer a fortnight later when she scored her first win at Group 1 level in the Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Both mares dominated the Group 1 fillies and mares races during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival; with the pair quinellaing both the Coolmore Classic (1500m) and The Queen Of The Turf Stakes before disappointing in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m).
While Appearance was sent to the spelling paddock after the Doncaster, Red Tracer was taken to Brisbane for the Winter Racing Carnival and returned to the winners circle with a narrow victory in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and went on to record her breakthrough Group 1 victory in the Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
With More Joyous retired, Norzita out with injury and Streama to be sent to the paddock after she runs in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) both Red Tracer and Appearance will be able to lay claim to the title of Australian Champion Mare if they race well at Group 1 level this campaign but the Golden Pendant certainly won’t be a match race with a number of other promising mares included in the field.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein has the opportunity to stamp herself as a Group 1 contender by beating the leading pair this weekend.
The Fastnet Rock mare failed to live up to her potential as a younger horse but started her four-year-old campaign with an impressive victory in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago.
Also looking to take the next step is Graeme Begg-trained Bennetta, Peter Snowden-trained Cameo and five-year-old Arctic Flight, who have all produced promising runs since returning from a spell, while the Golden Pendant field is rounded out by the returning Grand Daughter and the Kris-Lees trained trio of Express Power, Sharnee Rose and Soapy Star.