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Ad Mark Walker and Opie Bosson after team up again with Skew Wiff, looking to continue the stables great run after star mare Imperatriz claimed the Group 1 Moir Stakes. (Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

Skew Wiff set for Australian debut

6 October 2023 Written by Craig Brennan – Racing & Sports

Last start New Zealand Group 1 winner Skew Wiff is set for her first start in Australia.

New Zealand trainer Mark Walker will be looking to build on his impressive strike-rate in Melbourne since establishing a stable at Cranbourne.

From seven runners out of the Cranbourne stable since the start of September, Walker has produced three winners and will looking to increase that tally at Moonee Valley on Friday night and further with Skew Wiff in the Group 2 Furphy Rose Of Kingston Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Skew Wiff has a touch of class and will be making her Australian debut on Saturday registering three wins from 13 starts including a last start win in the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings.

For winning that Group 1 race at her last start, Skew Wiff incurred a 3.5kg penalty in the set-weights and penalties race for mares.

While Walker concedes Saturday's contest will not be an easy assignment, he believes the mare has that touch of class to be highly competitive.

And importantly, Opie Bosson, who rode the mare in her victory at Hastings, is coming across from New Zealand for the ride.

"She's a mare that has a real short sprint on her, but it's a sharp sprint," Walker told RSN.

"It only goes for about 200 metres, so it's all about getting your timing right.

"We have great respect for the Australian form, but they'll know she's there even though she has to carry that weight penalty being a Group 1 winner now.

"She's quite a promising horse and still only lightly raced."

Being in Melbourne over the past two weeks overseeing the completion of the Cranbourne stable and keeping an eye on Group 1 winning mare Imperatriz, Walker only got to see Skew Wiff when she arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday morning.

Walker said it was normal practise for his stable to fly horses in from New Zealand as close as possible to race time.

"We like to travel them in that close to their first run in Australia, it seems to work well," he said.

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