Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen is set to return to the Queensland for the winter if all goes to plan with her return to racing at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Karuta Queen hasn’t raced since finishing second to African Pulse in the 1000m Schweppes Tonic 1000 down the straight at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last year, but trainer Neville Layt is very happy with the progress of his star filly.
“She’s going terrific” Layt said. “She had a barrier trial at Canberra three weeks ago and she went really good.”
The Queanbeyan trainer said Karuta Queen didn’t have much opposition in the trial and was able to win by seventeen and a half lengths in good time.
Layt is keen to bring Karuta Queen back to Brisbane for the winter but first she has to get through the Sydney Autumn Carnival which she kicks off this Saturday at Warwick Farm.
“If she can step out to 1350m we might look at the Doomben 10,000 and the Gold Coast Guineas over 1200m is a nice race for her in early May,” Layt said.
The Not A Single Doubt filly is only facing a small field for her return to racing in the www.tab.com.au Handicap 1000m. A field of six was left at acceptance time but with the top weight Unanimously also in at Caulfield on Saturday, the field size is set to dwindle.
In form jockey Tommy Berry has had a great association with the filly and is looking for his seventh win on her. The pair combined to take out the 2011 Magic Millions 2yo Classic at the Gold Coast which was their biggest payday.
Layt will step Karuta Queen out again in two weeks in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) for three year old fillies and then a decision will be made what races to target over the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
At this stage Layt is not keen to take his filly back to Melbourne.
“Melbourne is not really an option as the Okaleigh Plate is only a week after the Light Fingers and that is too close. ” Layt said. “We’ll pick out some nice races over the carnival here and look to Brisbane in the winter.”
The $400,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) to be run at Caulfield on February 25 is shaping as a hot field with the Peter Snowden trained super sprinter Sepoy set for his return in the Group I sprint.
After Sydney Layt is keen to step Karuta Queen up in distance and if he thinks she can handle 1350m, a start in the Group 1 $650,00 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (WFA) on May 26 is on the cards.
The Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) for three year olds on May 5 is a nice lead up to the Doomben 10,000 for the filly and Layt is looking forward to returning to the Gold Coast which was the scene of her greatest victory.