Smart filly Karuta Queen is ready to kick off her Autumn Carnival campaign against some tough sprinters at Caulfield on Saturday, a week late.
The Queanbeyan filly was due to resume for trainer Neville Layt in the www.tab.com.au Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm last week but those plans were thrown into disarray when the meeting was abandoned due to the wet weather.
And with Layt having to change course the Group 2 $175,000 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) for three year old filles at Warwick Farm on February 18 is now out of the picture.
Layt packed his filly up and sent her to Melbourne for this week’s Group 3 $125,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield to take on some seasoned sprinters.
Regular rider Tommy Berry is confident Karuta Queen is ready to mix it with the best sprinters in land and is set to take on last start Flemington winner First Command, Zedi Knight who was second to Black Caviar at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 Australia Stakes on January 27 and the old stager Eagle Falls.
“She’s going really good and I don’t think the extra week is going to be a problem.”
“She had that good solid trial which she won by 17 lengths in preparation for her first-up run,” Berry said.
Karuta Queen is no stranger to Caulfield and Berry is certain that her experience around the tricky track when second to champion mare Black Caviar in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes (1000m) last spring will help her no end.
“The last time she went to Caulfield I don’t think she got around the track that well but New South Wales horses usually improve with a run on the track and I think the fact that Black Caviar went past her so quickly it threw her stride out of whack trying to chase,” he said.
Berry said that Karuta Queen was a quick learner and could see no problems with her getting around Caulfield especially jumping from barrier two with only 52.5kg.
“It’s a good field but if she’s at her best, as I expect, she’ll give them something to chase.”
The Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in two weeks will be Karuta Queen’s next assignment if she gets through the run okay.
The flying filly will again take up her usual front running roll and Berry thinks she is ready to take on the best sprinters and rack up her second Melbourne win.
After finishing second to Black Caviar in the Schillaci, Karuta Queen went to Moonee Valley where she produced her best to score a commanding win in the Group 3 1300 Australia Stakes over 1200m.