Jockey Michael Walker has steered Wawail to victory in her past three race starts and he is confident that the talented filly can record her maiden win at Group level in the 2015 The Vanity at Flemington on Saturday.
Chad Schofield rode Wawail when she made her racing debut with a win in the Beveridge Williams Plate (1000m) at Caulfield back in 2013, but Walker has ridden the Lonhro filly exclusively during her three-year-old preparation and steered her to victory in the Quest Moonee Valley Plate (1200m), the Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1400m) and the Pack A Picnic Plate (1100m).
Wawail will face the toughest test of her career to date when she takes on the likes of 2014 Crown Oaks winner Set Square and progressive filly Maastricht in The Vanity, but Walker is extremely confident that the three-year-old can win the Group 3 event this weekend and go on to challenge in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in a fortnight.
“I’ve heard from all accounts that Set Square is flying, but in saying that so is my mare,” Walker said.
“She has drawn nine and Set Square has drawn 10, but I’m not worried about just one horse.
“It’s a decent race.
“I know I’m riding a filly I believe that has not yet reached anywhere near her potential.
“I think she has Group 1 potential.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday to see where she where she is in the pecking order.”
Wawail has been included in the nominations for both the Australian Guineas and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), but the Australian Guineas will be the target for the three-year-old before she potentially heads to New South Wales for the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have left their options open with Wawail in Sydney and she has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at the same venue a week later.
Wawail is currently available at 2015 The Vanity odds of $2.50 and is a clear favourite with Ladbrokes from Maastricht ($5.50), Fenway ($6.50), Set Square ($7.50), Sweet And Speedy ($11) and Miss Adele ($14).