Skew Wiff ready for G1 Oakleigh Plate assault

Posted by RS NewsWire at 3:02pm on February 20th

A trip to Caulfield for a pre-Oakleigh Plate gallop was precisely what the Te Akau Racing team wanted to see from Skew Wiff.

The Mark Walker-trained mare will run first-up in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday and was taken to the course for a confidence boosting gallop on Tuesday morning.

Ben Gleeson, Walker’s assistant-trainer overseeing the stables at Cranbourne, said the work Skew Wiff produced over 1000 metres, was pleasing.

“She worked with one of Ciaron Maher’s over 1000 metres, they quickened up from the 600 metres,” Gleeson said.

“She sat back of it and went past it for a bit of confidence.

“She wanted a good hit-out. She thrives off the work and did everything we’d hoped she would do.”

Skew Wiff has raced twice at Caulfield previously, finishing out of the money on each occasion, but Gleeson said Tuesday’s gallop was a good opportunity for the mare to see the track again.

He said there was the added benefit of working on a beautiful surface, adding the campaign to date had been a smooth one ahead of a Group 1 sprint.

“She’s a very good trackworker, so it doesn’t matter where you work her,” Gleeson said.

“She won her jump-out last week at Cranbourne, and it has been smooth as it could possibly go.

“She’s in a really good headspace which is important for her. She can get a little bit boisterous, but she’s as happy as any horse we have in our barn, and I think that will transpire this prep.”

Gleeson is unconcerned about Skew Wiff being first-up over 1100m, a trip she has raced only once, finishing second at her second start at Ruakaka.

“Mark is big on the fact that she’s a fresh horse,” Gleeson said.

“If she draws a gate and gets a good trail in behind them, she’s got a withering turn of foot on her.”

Craig Williams has been booked for the ride on Saturday.

Stablemate Imperatriz, who won the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington last Saturday, has recovered well from the outing.

Gleeson said Walker would fly in from New Zealand later in the week where plans would be discussed as to the mare’s next start.

“She’s licked the bin clean, and I could be happier, and we’ll soldier on, but we won’t decide on where we go until we see her gallop next Tuesday,” Gleeson said.

“Mark flies in on Friday and we’ll watch her work together and as a team with Dave and Karen (Ellis) work out as to where she goes to next.”

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