Wandjina secured several impressive results over the late stages of the 2014 Spring Carnival and has returned to racing in the best way possible this afternoon; displaying an exceptional turn of foot late to win the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Jumping from the gates well, Wandjina was immediately led to the fore of the field of 12; setting a noticeably quick temp away from the gates alongside talented Perth raider Disposition and Testashadow.
Arriving at the final straight with a clear racing line, champion jockey Damien Oliver locked the three-year-old in a fierce pace battle with Disposition, and while appearing to be running out of gas with 200m to travel, kicked incredibly well to hit the line half a length in the clear; Stratum Star securing a credible third.
Gai Waterhouse’s stable representative Adrian Bott was impressed by Wandjina’s first-up victory in the 2015 CS Hayes Stakes, but revealed the team had been confident of a polished performance following his tough spring campaign.
“He did a few things wrong in the run so it was pleasing to see him get the result in the end,” Bott said.
“He’s an incredibly tough horse. Gai’s always had an opinion of him from day 1.
“He’s had a few luckless campaigns and towards the end of last campaign he really starts to put it together and has come back in really great order this time round.
“He’s been prepared in the Melbourne stable all the way through for this campaign with the main aim being the Australian Guineas.”
Oliver delivered a perfectly-timed ride on Wandjina for success in the 2015 CS Hayes Stakes and was thrilled with the performance put in by the tough three-year-old.
“He wasn’t actually that keen – we were just going pretty slow and I didn’t really expect to be in front,” Oliver said.
“I just felt we were going pretty leisurely through the first two-thirds of the race.
“Consequently he had a good kick for me and when the West Australian horse came at him I thought he’s going to have to be pretty tough to fight him off but he was able to and it was a good effort.
“He had a tough spring campaign … he’s come back really well this horse and I’ve had a lot to do with him this time in and he’s just been perfect from day 1. He looks good going to the Guineas.”
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2015 CS Hayes Stakes Results
|1||8||WANDJINA||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||–||5||54kg||$7.50|
|2||1||DISPOSITION||Wez Hunter||Craig Williams||0.2L||3||56.5kg||$4.80F|
|3||2||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||1.2L||10||56.5kg||$5.50|
|4||4||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||2.45L||8||56.5kg||$9|
|5||3||CHIVALRY||Mark Kavanagh||Damian Lane||3.45L||7||56.5kg||$14|
|6||7||TESTASHADOW||Gary Portelli||Dean Yendall||3.75L||4||55kg||$19|
|7||9||BASCULE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||3.95L||1||54kg||$21|
|8||12||ORIENT LINE||John Moloney||Craig Newitt||5.95L||6||54kg||$31|
|9||5||SAN NICASIO||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||6.05L||12||56.5kg||$8|
|10||13||BETTER LAND||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||7.55L||2||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$31|
|11||10||LUCKY LIBERTY||Henry Dwyer||Ms Michelle Payne||7.75L||11||54kg||$8.50|
|12||11||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||9.25L||9||54kg||$20|