Leading trainer David Hayes believes that Gregers is primed for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield next Wednesday and is the horse to beat if anything goes amiss with champion filly Guelph.
Gregers worked her way through the grades this preparation, after being sent to the paddock after her fourth place finish in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) during the autumn, winning the Aquanas Foods Handicap (1000m) and Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) in dominant fashion.
She returned to Group level in the Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and was far from disgraced when finishing fifth before recording the biggest win of her career in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Hayes told Sky Racing HQ that the Commands filly had pulled up from the race well and said he was delighted with her preparation thus far, which has followed a similar path to Irish Lights who won the 2009 edition of the Thousand Guineas.
“Her work has been terrific,” Hayes said.
“I thought her win was great, working against the trend on the inside, and if Guelph doesn’t like Caulfield she will be right there.
“She will be primed for the race.
“We have done a similar prep into the Guineas as we did with Irish Lights a few years ago and I would say that she is on par with her.”
Gregers will be making her debut over 1600 meters in the Thousand Guineas; a distance over which Guelph has already won at Group 1 level on two occasions in the Champagne Stakes and Flight Stakes.
Hayes admits that there is always a question mark over horses stepping up to a mile for the first time but based on Gregers’ performance in the Thousand Guineas Prelude believes that staying the trip will not be a problem.
“Not the way she finished the 1400 off the other day,” Hayes when asked if 1600 metres was a concern.
“When they have never run 1600 there is always a concern, that is a tick in Guelph’s box, but if it is not a fast run race and she is sitting up on the pace third or fourth and Guelph is sitting out the back not handling Caulfield you never know.”
Hayes is chasing his third Thousand Guineas victory after previously winning the race with Miss Finland (2006) and Irish Lights (2009).