Chris Waller will use the 'Royal Descent' preparation with $1.3 million filly Dawn Wall, which will have her next start in the Arrowfield Kembla Grange Classic on March 10 as part of her Australian Oaks preparation run during The Championships at Royal Randwick.
The Fastnet Rock filly has only had the three starts, winning her past two at Canterbury Park over 1550m and Rosehill Gardens over 1800m, but Waller is confident in her ability to drop her back to the 1600m.
“She is going to have to drop back from 1800m to the mile (1600m) going to Kembla but it is the best way to head to the Oaks,” Waller said. “She has a bit of speed in her legs.
Left: Dawn Wall (Kerrin McEvoy) - will follow a similar path to 2013 Oaks winner Royal Descent. Image by - Bradley Photographers
“I might think about a bit of gear with her for Kembla but I think the big track will suit her and then she can go to the Adrian Knox and the Oaks, like Royal Descent. She certainly looks like a stayer the way she won at Rosehill. She is very strong.”
Dawn Wall scored going away by a couple of lengths at Rosehill on February 22 and later that afternoon, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott produced Hussterical to lead all-the-way over 1400m.
She jumped to the front from the outside gate and won untroubled by three lengths. Hussterical is unbeaten this preparation after start her campaign with a win at Hawkesbury and Bott believes the speedy filly will have no trouble stepping up to the mile at Kembla.
“Kembla Grange is the next step for her to give her the chance at black type,” Bott said. “She is the sort of filly that has a high cruising speed and we have marked her was one that could be well placed during the carnival.
“The Kembla Grange Classic has been a good sounding ground for this sort of filly and she will give them something to chase.”
Matthew Smith is also aiming Spring Stakes runner-up Faraway Town at the Classic and is likely to go into the race fresh from a month’s break: “I have always thought that a mile and beyond would be her best trip and Kembla will really suit her,” Smith said.
The abandonment of the Kembla meeting on Tuesday has left a number of trainers looking for options with their fillies, which were going to use the meeting as an opportunity to have a look at the track. It is the second consecutive meeting lost by Illawarra Turf Club after February 11 meeting was called off because of oppressive heat.