The Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) is one of a number of races over a mile that are on the agenda for classy filly Arabian Gold during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Arabian Gold went into her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with plenty of hype but was no match for champion filly Guelph; finishing second in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick and fourth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at the same venue.
The Dubawi filly was sent to Melbourne for a tilt at the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) and won the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 19, but failed to fire in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) or the Crown Oaks.
Trainer David Vandyke believes that Arabian Gold exhibited her best form over a mile and told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he will be stepping the three-year-old up in distance during her autumn campaign.
“There are a bevy of lovely races for her going forward,” Vandyke said.
“I don’t think that we will try her over 2000 or further again and I think that we will stick to around the mile mark.
“When she first came back into work last prep she ran that terrific trial against Toydini and Streama and then ran a great second to Guelph.
“Even though she won over 2000 metres in a Listed Race, her form wasn’t as solid when we went over a mile.
“There are some really nice fillies races and there is the $1 million Queen Of The Turf.
“There are just some terrific races just around the mile mark.”
Vandyke’s other Group 1 contender in the spring was progressive stayer Prince Cheri, who took out the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) and Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) before being beaten as favourite in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
The Warwick Farm-based trainer said that Prince Cheri had taken plenty of improvement out of his time in the spelling paddock and is considering setting the son of Lando for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
“He has been back in work a few weeks and his work has been sharper than ever,” Vandyke said.
“He has taken no ill effects from his last campaign and I am looking forward to him going forward.
“We might even try stretching him out to the Sydney Cup next preparation.”