Warwick Farm horseman Guy Walter will saddle-up two 2013 Doncaster Mile bound mares in a black type at his local track this Saturday with Group 1 winners Appearance and Streama set to clash in the $100,000 Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m).
This year’s Wiggle Stakes has drawn just seven mares, two of which are prepared by Walter with Streama and Appearance drawn in gates four and one respectively as they both run second-up for the autumn.
Wearing the number one saddlecloth with Hugh Bowman to ride is Stratum four-year-old Streama, winner of the Australian Oaks last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Streama resumed racing at Warwick Farm on February 23 and ran a good second to Skytrain in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) on a Heavy (10) track, the conditions in Sydney likely to be similar on Saturday.
Commands mare Appearance also comes off a first-up second at the same meeting as her stablemate having been defeated by the barest of margins in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m).
Appearance hit the big time last Melbourne Cup Carnival with an upset win in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington when overcoming the far outside barrier (13 of 13) to beat home Soft Sand as a $40 outsider.
Both mares will use the Wiggle Stakes as a stepping stone towards some big Group 1 targets this time in, most notable the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 20.
They were originally dually nominated having also been thrown into the entries for the $125,000 Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at the same meeting but with the Warwick Farm track fast improving Walter will run them in the longer race.
“I put them both in the Liverpool City Cup in case the track was going to be wet because I thought it would be easier over 1300 rather than 1400 metres on a heavy track,” Walter said on Tuesday.
“But it looks as if it will be OK so they will go to the Wiggle.
“They both galloped on the course proper at Warwick Farm this morning and I was happy with what they did.”
Saturday won’t be the only time they come face-to-face leading up to the Doncaster either with Walter indicating they would both also target the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 23 and the $400,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day.
Current Doncaster Mile odds are led by Gai Waterhouse’s super colt Pierro at around $6 who returned with a win in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) last Saturday.
Of Walter’s duo it is Streama who is rated the better chance in the Doncaster Handicap betting markets paying $15, equal with defending champ More Joyous also prepared by Waterhouse.
Appearance meanwhile is a $31 outsider, a price that is sure to firm should she win the Wiggle Stakes on Saturday.
Also among the notable 2013 Wiggle Stakes acceptors for Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes Day showdown are Tattersall’s Tiara winner Pear Tart, first-up winner of the Breeders Classic last month Steps In Time, the fellow John O’Shea-trained Colorado Claire and Chris Waller’s consistent mare Nocturnelle.
Walter’s third Doncaster Mile chance in 2013 is then Willy Jimmy who also runs on Saturday in Melbourne’s $220,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Among his possible rivals is current Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune meaning Walter will get a good chance to assess where the Dehere seven-year-old is at.
Willy Jimmy improved on a 10th in the Expressway Stakes last start when running a respectable fourth to Alma’s Fury in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago, the horse looking to run better than their $81 Doncaster Mile price on Saturday.
Walter entered the Doncaster Mile history books back in 2005 when he prepared the trifecta of Patezza, Court’s In Session and Danni Martine and while he isn’t sure he can do that again he is happy with where his three hopefuls are at this year.
“I think that was a one-off,” he said. “But hopefully we have a strong team in the race this year.”
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