It may still be a month away and held at a very different circuit but the performance of Yosei in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes this Saturday will go a long way to determining whether or not she follows through with a 2011 Cox Plate start.
Trainer Stuart Webb is wary the race may come up a bit too soon for her after she worked deep into the Brisbane winter carnival.
She spelled for just 22 days at the end of last season after winning her third Group 1, the Tattersall’s Tiara in June.
“It is hard to race that far into the winter carnival, then have a let up and back up in the spring,” Webb said.
“When you are going for the Cox Plate you want a better, longer preparation where you get the miles in her legs.”
She had her first up run over 1200m in the Bobbie Lewis Quality but found the going too sharp in a push and shove sort of contest to tail out in 15th.
Webb says she’s come on nicely since then though and she’ll appreciate the jump to 1400m in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.
She had an exhibition gallop at the Sandown meeting on Wednesday running under 23 seconds for the final 400m.
Webb was more than happy with the time especially considering she was carrying easily upwards of 60kgs.
He says she’ll take further improvement out of the Rupert Clarke run before being in top shape for the Group 1 Toorak Handicap over 1600m on October 8th.
“We will decide after the Toorak whether we go to the Cox Plate or the (Group One) Myer Classic over 1600 metres at Flemington a week later,” Webb said.
“She would want to be running pretty good in the Toorak to go the Cox Plate and at the moment my preference is the Myer,” Webb said.
Yosei has picked up a Group 1 in every campaign since she began her career with an AJC Sires Produce Stakes triumph as a two year old, the Thousand Guineas last spring and the Tatts Tiara at the end of last season.
“She just keeps taking that next step,” Webb said.
“As a two-year-old she never worked like a brilliant horse but she actually works like a very good horse now.”