Co-trainer Shannon Hope has been pleased with the condition of Fenway since her return to racing this time in, but has revealed the Group 1 winner will likely have to win Friday’s Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley to warrant a berth in the 2015 Cox Plate.
Fenway returned to racing this year for consecutive fourth-place finishes in each of the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) and Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) before stunning a talented field when leading from start to finish in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on March 28th.
Having returned to the paddock after running second in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) on May 2nd, Hope was not fazed by the High Chaparral mare’s first-up run for ninth in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, and is confident the conditions of the 2015 Stocks Stakes will suit following a strong piece of work at Moonee Valley on Monday morning.
“I would have thought she’d have to win but in saying that she is already a Group 1 winner but another Group 2 win would certainly help,” Hope told Racing Victoria.
“I brought her to Moonee Valley just to make sure she’d handle the track, I know it’s different to race pressure but she seemed to wheel around the corner no problem.
“She’s a very casual mare that takes everything in her stride and the trip down here should just bring her on a little bit.
“In all of her runs, apart from the Vinery and the Oaks, she’s hit a flat spot where as she never did at Flemington and that’s another reason why we’ve brought her here to Moonee Valley, it’s a track where she can build her momentum during the race.”
Fenway was a standout for Hope and father Lee during the recent Autumn Carnival, but the Seymour-based trainer is confident she has returned even great this time.
“Mentally and physically she’s a lot stronger this preparation,” Hope added.
Debuting for success in the Bendigo RSL Maiden Plate (1400m) in October last year, Fenway continued to stamp her claims as a filly to follow when fourth in the Champagne Pommery BM78 (1600m) on Caulfield Cup Day before ending her maiden campaign third in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
Included amongst a talented list of 13 Stocks Stakes nominations, Fenway is expected to be confirmed in the race’s final field following Wednesday’s barrier draw.