Crown Oaks winner Kirramosa will kick off her 2015 Melbourne Cup campaign in restricted grade in the $85,000 BenchMark 90 Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The John Sargent trained Kirramosa has been plagued by injuries since winning the 2013 Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington and has been restricted to four race starts without filling a placing.
Sargent was happy with the way Kirramosa was shaping up during the Spring of 2014 but her campaign had to be cut short when she pulled up with a hamstring injury following her eleventh of twelve in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
Then he had to rule Kirramosa out of the 2015 Autumn Carnival with a cracked pedal bone but the Alamosa mare has fully recovered and ready to commence another Spring program which he hopes leads to a start in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
“She’ll go well on Saturday, but she’s still looking ahead to the spring and she’s entered in all of the cups,” Sargent told Racing NSW News.
“I think she’ll run 3200 metres so it will be interesting to see how she goes.”
Kirramosa has been prepared for her Spring Carnival with a fifth in a Randwick barrier trial over 1050m on July 31 and Sargent has engaged claiming apprentice Kayla Nisbet to ride the mare first up.
“Kirramosa’s trial was very nice,” Sargent said.
“I was going to start her first-up last week but this isn’t a big field and I’ll be claiming 3kg with apprentice Kayla Nisbet.”
The BenchMark 90 Handicap has only attracted eight entries including Kirramosa, forcing the Australian Turf Club to extend nominations until 11am on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Woodbine is among the early nominations and she can’t hide her enthusiasm about the chances of the flashy five year old chestnut on Saturday.
“Thomas Huet’s best of the morning was Woodbine who the former Frenchman noted ‘feels great.’ The son of Miss Finland galloped over 1200m coming home his last 200m in 11.7 seconds and he will take a power of beating first up this Saturday at Rosehill,” Waterhouse wrote on her website.
Sargent’s other Spring staying prospect Thunder Lady is also resuming on Saturday in the $85,000 Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill as she kicks off a possible Caulfield Cups – Melbourne Cups campaign.
Thunder Lady was runner up in the 2014 Crown Oaks and Sargent will concentrate her early Spring Carnival in Sydney with the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 3 high on the agenda before heading to Melbourne.
“Thunder Lady is looking towards The Metropolitan and The Bart Cummings, and we’ll see how she goes there before looking at the Melbourne Cup. I’ll probably give her four or five runs before the cup,” Sargent said.
In an early Caulfield Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au, Thunder Lady is marked at $51 with Kirramosa at $67.