Caulfield trainer Mick Price still has faith in Samaready as she heads to Sydney for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12.
Samaready will join stablemate and T J Smith Stakes favourite Lankan Rupee in the weight for age grand final for the sprinters on the first day of the ‘The Championships’ even though the More Than Ready mare has failed to race up to her best form this campaign.
The 2012 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner has been a beaten favourite at her three runs this preparations but Price is willing to give her a chance to redeem herself in Sydney.
The dual Group 1 winning mare ran her best race of the Autumn when a first up third ($3.10 fav) to Snitzerland in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 15.
But then she was always well back in the field when sixth, as the $4 favourite, to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8.
And Price said that he was surprised to see Samaready ($4.20 fav) in the lead before fading to finish ninth of ten in the Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
“She was ridden two or three lengths forward of where I thought she would be,’’ Price told the Herald Sun.
“I certainly didn’t think she should lead and thought she should have taken up a position behind Thump.
“Regardless of all that I still thought it was a disappointing run. I wanted to see better.”
Price’s riding instructions for Samaready in the T J Smith Stakes will be to ride the mare quietly and give her the chance to do her best work over the concluding stages.
“That’s what she does when she performs at her best,” Price said.
Lankan Rupee has risen to the top of the sprinting ranks with back to back Group 1 wins in the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 and the Newmarket and is a clear cut $3.60 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au for the T J Smith Stakes.
Top Queensland sprinter Buffering is next in the betting at $6.50 ahead of the Chris Waller trained Zoustar at $7 and Black Caviar Lightning winner Snitzerland and Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time, both at $10.
While Samaready has slipped down the market order and is now a $21 chance.