The well-backed David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Wawail saluted for the punters in the penultimate event at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday winning the Frances Tressady Stakes 2016.
In her first win since the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at the same track 12 months ago during last year’s Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the four-year-old daughter of Lonhro showed an affinity for Flemington taking out the $150,000 Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m).
Her latest run was a sixth when beaten over two lengths in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) over the same distance just last weekend at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Relishing the quick back-up and return to Flemington, Wawail proved the fittest mare in the set weights plus penalties clash on Australian Guineas Day where she carried the 57kg top weight.
She was also drawn wide jumping from barrier 10 of 12 with Damien Oliver in the saddle, but the favourite was able to overcome all obstacles.
It was the Pat Carey-trained Shakesperean Lass who drove up to take the early lead ahead of Choose on her inside while Wawail and Oliver settled nicely in third just ahead of Whistle Baby.
All race the progressive Wawail was tracking beautifully getting a terrific run third off the leaders.
At the 400m she came with her run, but the local Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Whistle Baby was quickly on the scene going up with the front runners.
On the seven day back-up with the blinkers on third-up however Wawail ($4.40) was not going to get beaten and on the line she had a length to spare on Whistle Baby ($17), who more than measured up to run a nice second.
Third, finishing off the Frances Tressady Stakes trifecta, was the Lee & Shannon Hope-trained Starcraft five-year-old Choose ($7.50).
Passing her test with flying colours, options are now wide open for Wawail who co-trainer Tom Dabernig said would be very nicely placed over the next four weeks with a possible trip to Sydney on the cards.
“The back-up helped,” he said.
“You could see a long way out she was travelling very strongly and looked the winner.
“She’ll be well-placed over the next four weeks.”
Looking even further ahead jockey Oliver said Wawail would make a “beautiful broodmare” in the futures.
“We had a nice sit off them today and she appreciated the blinkers back on, which switched her on, and backing up she was really fit,” Oliver said.
“It was a strong win. She loves the 1400 (metres) here. She’ll make a beautiful broodmare this one.”
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2016 Frances Tressady Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 05/03/2016