Take 2 for Skew Wiff

Date: 20 Oct 2023

Take 2 for Skew Wiff


NZ Racing News reports:


Two weeks after a forgettable trip to Flemington, Group One-winning New Zealand mare Skew Wiff will have a second attempt at an Australian debut in Saturday’s Gr.2 Sharp EIT Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

A brilliant winner of the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 9, the four-year-old Savabeel mare later crossed the Tasman to join the Cranbourne branch of Te Akau Racing’s operation. Trainer Mark Walker entered her for the Gr.2 Rose of Kingston Stakes (1400m) on October 7, but she became fractious in the starting gate and was late-scratched on veterinary advice.

Fortunately the last fortnight has brought much better news for the Waikato Stud homebred, including a successful trial at Cranbourne on Monday.

“What happened at Flemington was obviously not an ideal way to kick off her Australian campaign,” Walker said. “But I was pleased to see that she trialled very well on Monday and behaved at the barriers, so hopefully we’ve put that hiccup behind us now and we’re back on track.

“It does mean that she’s going six weeks between races, which is a bit of a question mark. But her performance in the trial was very good, so she should hopefully be okay.”

Skew Wiff will be joined at Caulfield on Saturday by her stablemate Zourion in the Gr.2 Manhari Metals Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).

Racing in the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, the Zoustar filly won both of her starts last season including the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

Zourion kicked off her three-year-old preparation in the Gr.3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 29, where she made up ground from last to finish sixth.

“She didn’t get all favours in the run first-up, but there was a lot to like about the way she finished it off,” Walker said. “I think she should get a tempo to suit over 1400m this weekend, and hopefully she’ll be very competitive.”

A bold performance on Saturday will put Zourion firmly in contention for the Gr.1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on November 18.

Group One three-year-old features are also looming large on the horizon for two of Te Akau’s runners in New Zealand this weekend.

Walker and co-trainer Sam Bergerson will saddle What You Wish For in Saturday’s Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa, while the in-form Talisker will line up in the Wide Span Sheds (1300m) at Ashburton on Sunday.

Both are sons of Cambridge Stud stallion Embellish, and both are being pointed towards the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 11. The TAB currently rates What You Wish For a $10 chance for the classic in Christchurch, with Talisker not far behind on $14.

What You Wish For Wish For has yet to put a foot wrong his career, with four starts for a win and three second placings. He has been runner-up in both of his three-year-old starts so far, chasing home Solidify at Taupo on August 23 and Lupo Solitario at Tauranga a month later.



“He’s going really well,” Walker said. “The blinkers go on this week, which we think will make him a good chance in that strong field on Saturday.”

Talisker went winless as a two-year-old last season, but finished second in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) and a respectable seventh in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).

He has gone to a new level since travelling to the South Island this spring, scoring back-to-back wins at Riccarton on August 31 and Timaru on October 6.

“He’s thriving down south this time in, and you’d think he’d be hard to beat on Sunday,” Walker said.




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