Bengal Cat will contest the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, but trainer John Sadler has revealed that the 2015 Crown Oaks is the long-term goal for the talented filly.
Bengal Cat made her racing debut with a flat performance behind Ramlah in the Jim’s Antennas Maiden Plate (1000m) at Ballarat on January 18 earlier this year, but she produced a much improved performance when she finished a close third behind Safariann in the Pendragon At Think Big Stud Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on June 6 before she upset El Greco to win the Murray Cox Handicap (1400m) at the same venue on June 27.
The Taj Rossi Series final is set to be packed full of talent, with El Greco set to run again, and Sadler is relishing the opportunity to test out just how good Bengal Cat is as he looks towards the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
“I thought she was pretty good last start and I’m hopeful of her maybe turning into something,” Sadler told AAP.
“Whether she is going to or not, we might get a good chance to see that on Saturday because it’s going to be a nice little race.
“I see 17 nominations and about six chances.
“I was hoping for a good field, a really strong field, so that we can get a bit of a guide as to whether we’re kidding ourselves about the spring or not.”
El Greco is set to carry the top weight of 59 kilograms in the Taj Rossi Series Final after claiming wins in the Craigieburn Central Maiden Plate (1200m) at Kilmore on May 17 as well as the Eugene Gorman Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on June 13 and looms as the main danger to Bengal Cat, who has been allocated 55 kilograms by Racing Victoria handicappers.
Stephen Brown-trained Oxbow will carry 54 and a half kilograms and the rest of the field will be on the limit weight of 54 kilograms.
Sadler is chasing his first win in the Crown Oaks after previously missing the placings with Ladybird Blue (11th behind Northwood Plume in 1994), Fine Recipe (fifth behind Arborea in 1993) and Bubble Over (11th behind Slight Chance in 1992).
Champagne Stakes winner Pasadena Girl is currently available at 2015 Crown Oaks odds of $8 and is a clear favourite from Blackwood ($14).