Trainer Guy Walter is confident that both Appearance and Any Day Will Do will perform well in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign of Appearance was plagued by minor issues and she failed to fire in her two starts, but Walter told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he is confident the Commands mare is back to the form that saw her win the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 6 during her autumn preparation last year.
“She is going very well and I am very happy with her this time in,” Walter said.
“She had a lot of problems last time and she was tying up a lot, her preparation was interrupted and she got too fat.
“Now she has come back, she had a good spell, and she is working really well at the moment.
“She will be competitive.
“Obviously it is a big ask to beat those horses at weight-for-age, but she will be competitive.”
Walter is yet to decide on an ultimate 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Appearance, but the veteran trainer said that she will be nominated for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and is likely to be given the chance to defend her titles in the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 and the Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“We will take her a step at a time,” Walter said.
“She will be nominated for the Doncaster and we obviously have the Coolmore and races like that in mind.
“She will be nominated for everything, but we will just see how she goes on Saturday.”
Appearance will be joined in the 2014 Expressway Stakes by stablemate Any Day Will Do, who finished her spring preparation with a narrow win in the Goulburn Cup (1600m) on November 24.
Walter believes that Any Day Will Do has the ability to stamp herself as a top-level mare during her autumn preparation and expects her to perform well when she makes her debut at Group level this weekend.
“I think that she is a very good mare and I think that she can prove it this autumn,” Walter said.
“Having said that I didn’t ever envision her being in a weight-for-age race first-up.
“I wanted to have the option of running her at Flemington on March 8 (in the Schweppervescence Trophy) and she needs the race.
“I doubt that she will disgrace herself.”
Appearance is currently on the fifth line of Expressway Stakes betting at odds of $9.50, while Any Day Will Do is the outsider of the field at a quote of $81.