Wawail held off a fast-finishing Wine Tales and More Radiant to record her third win from as many starts in the 2014 City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
Wawail started her racing career with a narrow win in the Beveridge Williams Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on December 11, but missed the rest of his two-year-old career due to injury before he returned to racing with a win in the Quest Moonee Valley Handicap on October 31.
The Lonhro filly did not receive a great deal of support in the lead-up to the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes, but jockey Michael Walker was able to pinch a break coming around the turn and it proved a winning move.
Walker settled Wawail towards the tail of the field in the Quest Moonee Valley Plate after she missed the start, but he said that he was happy to put the three-year-old into the race in the early stages of the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes.
“She looks like she has just come out of the paddock,” Walker said.
“Last start David said ‘she doesn’t look any good, so just do what you do’ and she won after we went back and today I said ‘what do I do if she jumps’ and he left it to me.
“She was good today and she has shown so much improvement.”
Trainer David Hayes admitted after the race that Wawail did not look as though she is in good condition, but he was thrilled with the performance of the talented filly.
Hayes said that Wawail has always had plenty of ability, but he believes that she will be an even better horse as an older mare.
“That was a good sign,” Hayes said.
“It was a very long last furlong, but to pick-up the black type with a beautifully bred filly like this is a thrill.
“I would have loved not to have paraded her before the race because I was embarrassed with how bad she looks, but I think next preparation she will strengthen that little bit, get a coat and she might be a very good filly.
“I am very excited and she is going to make a really good four-year-old mare I think.”
Hayes has the chance to secure a victory in the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival Trainers Premiership when Spillway and Rawnaq contest the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown this afternoon.
Wine Tales was well-backed in the lead-up to the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes, but missed the start before she flow home late in the final 100 metres to finish a close second.