Imported mare Noble Protector will push on towards the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10 despite failing at Flemington last Saturday.
Noble Protector was sent out the $3 favourite against the mares in the Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) but flopped badly to be beaten over five and a half lengths into thirteen place behind the Chris Waller trained Amicus.
Craig Williams gave Noble Protector the run of the race in third spot on the fence but the Robert Smerdon trained mare found nothing in the straight and dropped out of contention over the final 200m.
Smerdon has reported that the six year old has pulled up with no obvious signs of injury and his stable vets have given her the all clear to continue her preparation.
Even though the Caulfield trainer was dumb founded by the poor performance, he is happy to continue her Spring Carnival campaign with the Toorak Handicap still on the agenda.
“She seems good against all the checks and measures so we’ll put that behind us and move on towards the Toorak (Handicap),” Smerdon told Racenet.
Noble Protector began her career in England and had three wins on the broad before she arrived at Smerdon’s stables.
The well performed mare was quick to start earning Australian dollars for her owners by picking up the runner’s up cheque when second to Contributer in the Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival at her first Australia start.
Noble Protector then kicked off her Autumn Carnival campaign in great style with wins in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14 and in the Group 2 $200,000 William Hill Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 2.
Smerdon then took her to Sydney for ‘The Championships’ where she ran third behind Amanpour and Catkins in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival before she headed for a Winter break.