Grahame Begg will kick off a spring campaign this Saturday targeting a Melbourne Cup Carnival run later in the season with his Monday trial winner Mossin’ Around.
The form John Thompson-trained Mossman mare enjoyed a narrow hit-out success over 800m on a Heavy (8) Cranbourne track at the start of the week.
In the same trial Robert Smerdon’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre ran fifth ahead of his likely first-up run in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.
Mossin’ Around has won just one of her six career starts to date when taking out a 1200m three-years-old maiden at Canterbury as a $71 roughie on debut in December last year.
She went on to place second in four consecutive runs over a smart summer – autumn campaign including three Group placings.
Among those was a second to Catch A Fire at Caulfield in February’s Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m), while her latest start produced a fifth to Badawiya at Flemington in the following month’s Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m).
Begg will begin her four-year-old campaign this Saturday in Melbourne on P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day, Mossin’ Around nominated for a Mares Handicap over 1100m.
“She’s not a very big filly, but she’s quite a thick-set filly,” the Pinecliff Mt. Eliza trainer told Racing Ahead on RSN this week.
“She’s a very good doer, and always has been. She’s quite rotund, and it takes a bit of work to get her to her top.
“She arrived in good order, and I feel that she’s certainly taken the necessary improvement from her three-year-old year going into her four-year-old.”
Her main aim this time in will be at Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29, in the $200,000 Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m).
The mares-only sprint was originally held on the first Thursday of November on Crown Oaks Day, two days after the iconic $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The VRC has made a number of Cup Carnival changes ahead of the 2016 festival, including the move of the G.H. Mumm Stakes to make room for the $200,000 Group 3 Guvera Stakes (1400m) – formerly the Chatham Stakes – on Oaks Day.
Begg hopes to have his mare in peak form for a shot at the G.H. Mumm Stakes where she’ll look to build on her solid Flemington straight track record.
“She’s raced very, very well up the straight three times, for two seconds,” he said.
“We thought the 1100m mares’ race during Cup week was the ideal target to work forward with.
“We’re trying to get a black-type win under our belt, so we need to get our rating up a bit to get into those races.
“Being a four-year-old now, it’ll be a lot harder to get into those races.”
On Saturday Begg will use the full three kilogram apprentice claim of the in-form Ben Allen who was aboard Mossin’ Around for her trial success on Monday.
“She’ll come in with 51kg – it’ll bring her right into the race,” Begg said.
“I’ve been watching him [Allen] for some time, and the boy keeps on progressing.
“He’s really riding very well. He seems to be very sensible the way he goes about it.
“I took the opportunity to get him to give her a jump-out at Pakenham two weeks ago, and he followed with the trial yesterday.”