Trainer Robert Smerdon has revealed that the 2016 Australian Oaks could be the long-term goal for Indarra after she broke her maiden with a victory in the 2015 City Of Greater Dandenong Plate at Sandown this afternoon.
Indarra was not keen to enter the barriers before the start of the City Of Greater Dandenong Plate, but she quickly got involved after the gates opened and she finished over the top of her rivals to record a very impressive victory.
Jockey Mark Zahra admitted after the race that Indarra is not the easiest horse to deal with, but he was thrilled with the acceleration she showed in the final stages of the race and he is confident she will be even better when she gets out over a longer trip.
“She has a big of a nasty streak in her which the good ones do, but it was a good win,” Zahra said.
“I was three wide and had cover in parts, but I just wanted to make sure that she had clear running and momentum and that is what we had.
“The further they go they will get better too.”
The Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) was the early 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Indarra, but her preparation was derailed by an abscess in her mouth and she was restricted to starts in a maiden at Ballarat and the Listed Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m) at Flemington on November 3.
Smerdon said that he is hopeful that Indarra will be able to run out a strong 2400 metres and he confirmed that the Stravinsky filly will head to the spelling paddock, but will return for an autumn campaign that could include a tilt at races like the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Oaks (2500m).
“First-up at the Valley as a two-year-old she got back and run third, but her pedigree and the DNA testing we use has her down as a 2000 metres horse,” Smerdon said.
“At the start of the spring she had an abscess in her mouth under her tongue and it just put us back weeks and weeks.
“We were hoping that we were going to give her a crack at the better fillies races and get her out over a trip, but it didn’t happen and we find ourselves at the end of the spring only having had a couple of runs.
“She will go to the paddock and in the autumn we will stretch her out and see how far we get.
“I am pretty confident she will get 2000 metres and hopefully she will get an Oaks trip.”
Mihalic produced the best performance of her career to date to finish second, while Antelucan scored a narrow third over Miss Wilson.