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Star Sydney trainer Chris Waller is hoping for a positive performance at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday from Dawn Wall who he has tipped as a possible 2017 Toorak Handicap contender down south next month.
Waller has two runners in the mix for the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Shannon Stakes (1500m) on Golden Rose Stakes Day with the 59kg top weight Good Project and well-weighted mare Dawn Wall (53kg).
Melbourne Cup winning hoop Corey Brown is booked to ride the four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock after partnering her first-up for a close second to Washington Heights at the same track over 1400m in a Benchmark 95 on September 2.
Her last start conqueror Washington Heights leads the latest Shannon Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, Gerald Ryan’s lightly-raced Commands six-year-old at $3.10 to continue his winning form.
Dawn Wall meanwhile is closing in fast occupying the second line of Shannon Stakes betting at $3.50 and she comes into barrier two after Waller withdrew her rails-drawn stablemate Omei Sword (1) in favour of a run later on the card in the Group 2 $400,000 Golden Pendant (1400m).
It was a rocketing first-up performance from Dawn Wall and one that has Waller confident the mare will go from strength-to-strength this campaign.
“It was a great first-up run from a horse that did a great job as a three-year-old,” Waller told Racenet.
“She won two Group races as a three-year-old and stamped her authority so it was no real surprise to see her come back so well.
“She’s draw well in barrier three and Corey Brown rides with 53kg and it’s a nice stepping stone to racing against the older horses on the back of a very good first-up run.”
Dawn Wall has had eight starts to date for a consistent winning strike rate of 50% and is after her first victory since saluting in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) in Queensland over the winter.
Waller threw the then three-year-old in the deep end after that victory with Dawn Wall racing at Doomben on June 3 in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).
She had plenty of work to do from a wide barrier 15 of 16 draw and was far from disgraced when ninth, beaten only three and a bit lengths by her stablemate Egg Tart.
That assignment showed Waller that Dawn Wall was probably more of a miler than a genuine staying type and he plans to capitalise on that this spring.
“She did a really good job as a three-year-old, failed in the Oaks but I don’t think she’s an extreme distance horse,” Waller said.
“It’s a Group 2 [on Saturday] and after this we might aim a bit higher.”
Already a Group 3 winner having taken out the Kembla Grange Classic over the mile during the autumn, Dawn Wall could be Melbourne bound the prep with Waller considering her for the Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) on Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day, October 14.
“There’s no great expectations or pressure but if she was to perform well on Saturday I’d suggest a race like the Toorak would be suitable,” he said.
Waller is yet to saddle-up a Toorak Handicap winner, while the last mare to win the Caulfield feature was More Joyous back in 2010.
To back Dawn Wall this weekend at the right Sydney racing odds online visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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