Cranbourne trainer Pat Hyland is praying for a farewell Group 1 win for Bonaria as she faces the starter for the last time on Saturday in $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
Bonaria claimed Group 1 glory with her win in the $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival and a win on day two of ‘The Championships’ would add enormous value to her as a brood mare.
The prospect of another rain affected track at Randwick this week will also boost the chances of the six year old mare according to Hyland who thinks she had d great chance to chalk up another Group 1 win.
“Hopefully she can go out and finish with another Group 1 win,” Hyland told racing.com.
“I think it will be still rain-affected here, and she loves a wet track and has a good jockey on board.
“She’s trained up very well. I rode her for her last gallop on Monday and she worked very well, I’m very happy with how she’s going.
“With a bit of luck, I think she’s got a great chance.
“We’re expecting her to run very well.”
Top Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman takes over from Dwayne Dunn on Bonaria who has drawn the inside gate in the fifteen horse field
After Saturday Bonaria will be prepared to begin her new life as a brood mare and head off to Widden Stud in the New South Wales to be ready for the new breeding season in the Spring.
“She’s been a wonderful mare for us all, but it’s the right time for her to go out and become a mother now,” Hyland said.
“She’s nearly seven years old and it was the right time for her to go to stud, I had no problems with that decision.”
A win on Saturday would take her winning tally to nine from forty-four starts and the $600,000 first prizemoney cheque would significantly boost her current bank balance of $$941,319.
Bonaria has only been placed once from three runs this campaign with a first up second to Tycoon Tara in the Group 3 $150,000 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 14.
At her next start she was beaten less than one and a half lengths when fifth to Tycoon Tara again in the Group 3 $150,000 Premier Signs Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 28 followed by a sixth to Queen Of The Turf rival Noble Protector in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
While Hyland is confident Bonaria will be right in the finish of the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au have listed her as one of the outsiders of the field at $41.
The Robert Smerdon trained Noble Protector and last start beaten Vinery Stud Stakes favourite First Seal share the top spot at $3.50 ahead of the consistent Catkins at $4.60.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Noble Protector, First Seal, $4.60 Catkins, $17 Diamond Drille, $19 Telepathic, Cosmic Endeavour, $21 Amicus, $26 Gypsy Diamond, $31 Diademe, Amanpour, $34 Intimate Moment, Sports Illustrated, $41 Bonaria, $81 Hera, $201 Just A Blur.