Coolmore Classic is Autumn target for White Sage

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 19th, 2013

Undefeated Sydney mare White Sage will target next year’s Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in March after stringing together a series of restricted class wins.

White Sage remains undefeated after winning at Rosehill.

White Sage remains undefeated after winning at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

White Sage has won four from four and even though the diminutive grey mare only won a 1350m Benchmark 80 Handicap for fillies and mares at Rosehill last Saturday, trainer John O’Shea is willing to test her at Group 1 level during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

The top Randwick trainer will give jockey James McDonald the job of testing White Sage over the Coolmore Classic distance of 1500m at her next start to give O’Shea a better indication at what he can expect from the Reset mare in the future.

“My goal is to aim her at the Coolmore Classic in the autumn so that is why I want her to run over 1500m here,” O’Shea told The Sunday Telegraph.

“There is a 1500m back here against the boys in a couple of weeks.”

“I’ll let ‘Macca” have a burn around on her and we will see how she handles 1500m.

“She is by Reset so you would think she could run a mile (1600m) without too much trouble.”

O’Shea is not concerned that White Sage only weighs 430kgs and is the smallest horse in the stable and compares her with Gai Waterhouse’s smart mare Assertive Lass who won the 1997 Coolmore Classic before being runner up in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

“This mare is only 430kg, weanlings are bigger than her,” O’Shea said.

“But it is not the size of the dog in the fight … not when it comes to fillies.

“I looked after Assertive Lass when I worked for Gai and she was a very small filly.

“White Sage’s sire, Reset, was only a little horse but he won all five starts.

“This mare has only had four starts but won them all pretty well. She can’t do any more that what she has done so far.”

O’Shea is also looking to take advantage of the huge Autumn Carnival prizemoney increases with his promising three year old Savvy Nature.

Savvy Nature showed he was above average with a runaway win in the Group 2 $220,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 against the three year olds before failing in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2.

O’Shea will again test Savvy Nature against the three year olds in the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill before deciding if he takes on the older horses in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12 or sticks to his own age group in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) on the same day.

“We will go to the Rosehill Guineas and then decide whether we head to the Derby over 2400m or switch to shorter races,” O’Shea said.

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