Darren Weir is confident Scarlet Billows will relish a step back in class when she lines up for the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich Racecourse this weekend.
A Stakes winner through an impressive Spring Carnival campaign in 2015, Scarlet Billows has posted a number of credible results through five starts this year but failed to make any impact whatsoever when beating only one runner home in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) upon arriving in Brisbane on May 28th.
Weir will saddle three runners in the feature races at Ipswich on Saturday, but believes the return to fillies and mares’ company in the 2016 Gai Waterhouse Classic underlines Scarlet Billows as his best chance of black type success.
“I think Scarlet Billows will be my best chance up there,” Weir told Racing Ahead.
“She ran pretty poorly up there first run (Doomben 10,000), but she’s come on since then.
“This is a much easier race, although she’s got quite a bit of weight.”
Scarlet Billows made her racing debut during the spring of 2013 and has subsequently posted six wins and four minor placings, through a total of twenty-six competitive starts.
Returning to racing in 2016 in particularly slick form, Scarlet Billows made a credible transition to black type company when fifth in the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) before running a close second to Under The Louvre in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington most notably.
Clearly requiring a couple of runs upon resuming in spring, the Street Boss mare placed fourth behind the likes of Chautauqua in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Group Tristarc Stakes (1400m) before producing a career-best performance so far to win the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Resuming this time for fifth in the talent-rich Family Bakery Sprint (1100m) on March 5th, Scarlet Billows placed seventh in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) and won the Vobis Gold Distaff (1400m); failing to run on the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in what was her only other start prior to the Doomben 10,000.
Scarlet Billows has been charged with overcoming a race-high 59kgs in the Gai Waterhouse Classic and will likely require luck in running from the somewhat tricky barrier 12.
Ladbrokes Australia are currently offering Scarlet Billows at 2016 Gai Waterhouse Classic odds of $3.90.