Skew Wiff sets sights on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

It wasn’t exactly D-day for Skew Wiff at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, but the Kiwi mare’s trainer Mark Walker was still relieved to see her win.

It was the four-year-old’s second start in Australia, following a sixth placing in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes on October 21, and while those who backed her into $3.70 favouritism with online bookmakers in that Caulfield event might have been disappointed, Walker was forgiving.

Hence, he is happy to give her a shot at Australian Group 1 success in Saturday’s $1 million Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

“That first-up run we’d had a problem with the barriers and it was six weeks in between runs and she did come to the end of it,” Walker said.

“We knew there would be good improvement and I think there’s been further improvement since.”

The 1400m Tristarc Stakes was Skew Wiff’s first outing since winning the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 9.

That was a deserved maiden success at the highest level for the daughter of Savabeel, who finished second in the Levin Classic (1600m) and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) earlier this year.

Skew Wiff returned to her best with her narrow-but-decisive win over Foxy Cleopatra and Forbidden City in the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, which Walker said was a better win than it appeared.

“She’s only got a short sharp sprint and only wins her races by not big margins,” he said.

“I thought she toughed it out well, because she had the 59 kilos and they all had their opportunity to beat her.”

Skew Wiff, who will be ridden by Craig Williams in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, has drawn barrier 12 in the field of 16 plus two emergencies.

Skew Wiff is rated a $19 chance on Saturday.

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