Press Report was a surprise inclusion in the 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes field that was released yesterday, but trainer Lee Curtis believes she is worthy of a place in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
Press Report was far from disgraced at the highest level of racing during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she finished fourth in both the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), but she started her autumn preparation with a poor effort in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 14.
The Written Tycoon filly returned to her best form with a tough win against older horses in the Cal Rei Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and Curtis told Sky Racing HQ that the sectionals the three-year-old produced in the final stages of the race as well as the fillies trackwork were enough to convince him that she deserved an opportunity in the 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes field.
“I think this preparation we are really trying her as a sprinter and we didn’t want to go much better six furlongs,” Curtis said.
“The way she acts at home and the opinion we have of her, I honestly don’t think that anybody has seen the best of her.
“I think that she is a pretty good filly obviously and on what she has done at home it is worth having a crack at a decent race with her.
“When you go through out sectionals they were some of the best on the day and they were right behind First Seal’s sectionals and it came out and started favourite in two Group 1 races.
“We had a pretty tough run and that gives you some indication of what she is capable of, albeit in a benchmark race.
“Every now and then you get a horse that wants to run through brick walls more or less, which is what she is doing.
“We are well aware of the task ahead, but we thought the value was there and if you can finish at the pointy end of the race there is obviously massive value for her going forward as a mare.
“I would imagine that we wouldn’t be getting back like we did last time and I would imagine we would be somewhere midfield.”
Press Report is currently available at the lengthy 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes odds of $101 with Ladbrokes, while Chautauqua ($2.70) is a clear favourite from Terravista ($3.20), Lankan Rupee ($5.50) and Sweet Idea ($6.50).