Well-bred two year filly Wawail will be headed for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 after a debut win at Caulfield today.
Chad Schofield was glad to be straight back into the winner’s circle on Wawail after spending almost three weeks on the sidelines due to back to back careless riding suspensions.
The Cox Plate winning jockey has a high opinion of the Lonhro filly and is certain there is plenty of improvement left in her.
“She bounced well, travelled well outside the leader. It stopped before the straight and that left a green two-year-old in front a long way from home,” Schofield told Racing Network.
“She was waiting for them and for that reason it made her win even more impressive.”
Wawail, by the Redoute’s Choice Group 2 winning mare El Daana, was produced first up by trainer David Hayes to score a solid win after racing without cover for most of the way.
Wawail ($4) jumped cleanly and matched strides with Ready To Fight ($2.35 favourite) before that two year old had enough, leaving the Hayes trained filly in front at the 200m and then she went on to score by three quarters of a length from Sakitto ($4.80) who made up ground in the straight.
The Nikki Burke trained Jinx ($6) finished in third spot with Ready To Fight fading in the straight to finish last of the five runners.
Schofield has spent plenty of time riding from the grandstand recently because of his frequent visits to the stewards’ room but vows that he will try extra hard to spend more time in the saddle.
“Two consecutive suspensions put me out for the best part of three weeks, but on the plus side I had the chance to re-charge and refresh after the carnival,” Schofield said
“I’m back now and looking forward to getting stuck into it again.”
The nineteen year old Schofield created history by becoming the youngest rider to win the Cox Plate since a seventeen year old Brent Thomson won on Fury’s Order in 1975, when he led all of the way on the Danny O’Brien trained Shamus Award to claim the 2040m Group 1 $3m Weight For Age Championship of Australasia at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Hayes has already won the Blue Diamond Stakes on five previous occasions with Canonise (1991), Principality (1995), Nadeem (2006), Sleek Chassis (2007) and Reann (2008).