Sydney’s favourite mare More Joyous looks to have a stranglehold on the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday after the untimely death of Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker.
More Joyous resumed from a spell and proved too strong for Monton and Metal Bender in taking out the Group 2 $175,000 Myer Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24 and is on target to make it back to back Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
The multiple Group 1 winner scored an easy win over Melito in last year’s running of the race before going on to finish well down the track as favourite in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick.
Nash Rawiller was glad to see the More Than Ready mare return to winning form after an indifferent Spring and her job on Saturday has been made slightly easier with the absence of Pinker Pinker.
Pinker Pinker died on Wednesdaay at trainer Greg Eurell’s Cranbourne stables as she was being prepared for her trip to Sydney after having an adverse reaction to a routine medical treatment.
Racing New South Wales chief steward Ray Murrihy made contact with Racing Victoria’s Terry Bailey to confirmed the unfortunate situation late yesterday.
“I’ve spoken to Terry Bailey and their regulatory vets are in touch with Greg Eurell’s vets and it sounds as though there may have been some adverse reaction to a sedative,” Murrihy said.
“There will be an autopsy and Terry Bailey will let us know the outcome of all that.”
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is super confident that More Joyous will continue to improve this campaign and was very pleased with her work during the week.
“She will most definitely improve and she worked super this week,” Waterhouse said.
“She is a really outstanding mare and she will win again on Saturday.”
More Joyous is looking for her sixth Group 1 win and seventeenth win overall and bookmakers agree with Waterhouse and have her at $1.80 favourite ahead of the Peter Moody trained King’s Rose at $4.40.
King’s Rose is fitter for two runs from a spell and looks well placed after running home for third to Ofcourseican in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Moody is also saddling up four year old Lights Of Heaven who is resuming after failing to fire in the Spring and could be on the road to the Brisbane Winter Carnival if she can return to her best form.
“At the start of the spring she was the favourite for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup but she wouldn’t have been favourite for the Bairnsdale Cup at the end of spring,” Moody said.
“We couldn’t put our finger on anything wrong with her so we gave her a good, long break and brought her up nice and slow. We are not going to the races Saturday with any grand plans, we just want to give her a burn around and then look forward to longer races in Brisbane in winter.”
Stable rider Luke Nolen will be aboard King’s Rose again and Dwayne Dunn will take over from Nolen on Lights Of Heaven.