Fontiton was one of the finds of the Autumn Carnival for trainer Robert Smerdon, and the Caulfield-based horseman has revealed the rising three-year-old has returned to work ahead of a spring campaign geared towards Group 1 feature races.
Fontiton stamped her claims as a serious racehorse in taking out her first three competitive starts with complete ease, but was unable to justify her clear favouritism when fifth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28th.
Having gone under the knife to remove bone chips sustained in her most recent performance, Smerdon has been pleased with the condition of the daughter of Turffontein since her return to work and is confident she will return a better horse in spring.
“It was a clear operation, she’s got through that good and she’s had a good break,” Smerdon told Racing Victoria.
“We always thought she was a filly that would benefit with that bit of time – we always hoped she’d be a better three-year-old than two-year-old – so if that’s still the case we’ve got something to look forward to.”
Having initially outlined a possible campaign targeting the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 10th, Smerdon conceded Fontiton is yet to be trialled over a mile and may elect to target a shorter event, pending results posted and form displayed by the filly earlier in her spring preparation.
“We’re just going to be guided by her progress as to where we head with her in the spring,” Smerdon said.
“We used to think she’d be capable of running the Thousand Guineas distance but that’s yet to be proven.
“So, at this stage she shown us she’s quick, but if she can take that speed out a bit it opens up a lot more options.”
Yet to be confirmed for a specific spring launch pad, Smerdon revealed Fontiton is unlikely to appear on course competitively prior to September, meaning a race like the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on the 12th may prove ideal.
Ladbrokes is currently offering Fontiton at 2015 Thousand Guineas odds of $8 for success.