Talented mare Wawail returned to her best form with a strong win in the 2016 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Wawail started her 2016 Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with slightly flat performances in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 13 and the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 27, but she was well-backed in the lead-up to the Frances Tressady Stakes and she looked like the winner a long way from home.
Jockey Damien Oliver gave Wawail a perfect ride and the leading hoop said that the application of blinkers really switched the Lonhro mare on and kept her mind on the job when she hit the front.
“She just had a nice sit off them and she really appreciated the blinkers back on today, they switched her on,” Oliver said.
“Backing-up within a week she was really fit and it was a good strong win.
“When I went I really got up her and made her switch on when I took the front and she really responded for us.
“It was a good strong effort.”
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig was very bullish about the chances of Wawail in the lead-up to the Frances Tressady Stakes and he was thrilled to see the talented mare return to winning.
Dabernig expects Wawail to take plenty of improvement out of the victory and he said that she could contest the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) or head to Sydney for any number of mares races during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“I think the back-up helped and she has a really good record here at Flemington,” Dabernig said.
“The blinkers went on and you could see a long way out that she was travelling very strongly and looked the winner.
“She has proven that she is a really classy horse and she will take good confidence out of this.
“There will be some good options for her in the coming weeks – she could be an Easter Handicap horse and I think she will be well-placed over the next four weeks.”
Whistle Baby produced a gallant effort to finish second behind Wawail, while Choose rounded out the placings in third.