Trainer Chris Waller is confident that Foxplay will appreciate the drop in distance for the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
Foxplay was a winner two starts back in the Group 2 $200,000 Cellarbrations Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 11 but then missed a place when fourth to Montoya’s Secret against the fillies in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill on March 25.
Waller had the option of stepping Foxplay up to the 2400m of the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks at Randwick this Saturday but opted to freshen up the Foxwdege filly and take on the older mares over 1600m in the weight for age Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
“Comes back to the mile, not worried about that at all,” Waller said.
“It is easier bringing them back in distance than stepping them up when you have a three year old filly.”
“You just simply do ninety per cent of the work that they would be doing preparing for a normal race and that freshens them up, it keeps them sharp and she will run well over a mile.”
Waller didn’t want to push Foxplay too hard during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with thoughts of heading to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and then testing her over 2400m in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on June 3.
“She gives up a chance to then go onto Queensland if we decide to and that’s when she will get her chance to run over 2400m in the Oaks,” Waller said.
“Being by Foxwedge I was a little bit hesitant to think she might get 2400m and I would rather try at the end of the season rather than now.”
Foxplay was a consistent performer during the 2016 Spring Carnival with wins at Randwick in the Group 2 $175,000 Fitzy & Wippa’s Fast & Furious Stakes (1200m) and in the Group 2 $175,000 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Foxplay has also been honest in her four Autumn Carnival outings and as well as winning the Phar Lap Stakes and running fourth in the Vinery Stud Stakes, she was a first up second to Global Glamour in the Group 2 $200,000 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13 followed by a fourth to La Bella Diosa in the Group 2 $200,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 25.
Kerrin McEvoy rode Foxwedge to victory in the Phar Lap and is back on the filly replacing Hugh Bowman who was aboard in the Vinery Stud Stakes.
Foxplay has drawn barrier ten in the eighteen horse Queen Of The Turf Stakes field and is the $6 second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au behind last start Group 1 William Reid Stakes winner Silent Sedition who heads the market order at $4.80.
Waller will also saddle up Elle Lou who is a $26 chance in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and gets her chance at Group 1 company following some solid form that saw her win the Group 3 $150,000 City Ford Group Aspiration Quality (1600m) at Randwick on March 4 followed by a seventh to Consommateur in the Group 3 $150,000 Bradford Black Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 18.
“She ticked a Group 3 box earlier in her prep, course and distance, similar track, she deserves a chance in a Group 1,” Waller said.
“Most horses don’t get the opportunity but she deserves to.”
Elle Lou has drawn barrier four with James Doyle to ride.