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Jockey Michael Walker labelled Wawail a future Group One horse after her return victory at Flemington on Saturday.

Ridden by Michael Walker, Wawail, backed from $1.80 to start the $1.75 favourite, kept her unbeaten record intact in scoring by a length from Clover Lane ($8) with Tennessee Spirit ($26) 1-1/4 lengths away third in the Pack A Picnic Plate over 1100m.

“She’s as good a filly we have in the stable,” Walker said.

Wawail

Wawail

“She does things so easily and is a Group One horse in the making.”

It was Walker’s intention to ride the filly with cover into the strong headwind but he was surprised with the lack of speed in the race.

He said the filly was travelling well within herself but when she hit the front she began to stargaze.

“She never wins by much and next time I’ll ride her differently so she gets there late,” Walker said.

A winner in Listed company at Sandown last campaign, trainer David Hayes said Wawail would now target the Group Three Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21 and then most likely the Group Two Kewney Stakes (1400m) on March 14.

Hayes said although Wawail held a nomination for the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 14, he preferred keeping her to fillies grade at this stage.

He said Wawail was a different filly this campaign after being “dull in the coat” during the spring.

“I had to look at her twice because she was nearly the pick of the yard which is a big turnaround from being the embarrassment of the yard in the spring,” Hayes said.

“With a good summer behind her I think she’s in for a very good prep.”

 
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