Mudlark Quintessential will be back in Sydney for the Autumn Carnival with the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 6 her main target.
Quintessential handled the muddy conditions the best in taking out the last year’s Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 for Kiwi trainer John Sargent but failed at two runs in Sydney in the Spring.
“Like spring four-year-olds can do, she didn’t make the transition from her three-year-old season and the only option was to ease up on her,” Sargent said.
“She’s really strengthened up and I’m looking forward to getting her back to the races.”
Sargent went to Sydney in the Spring with the Queensland Oaks winner but called it quits even before Quintessential got up to her preferred distances after Sargent wasn’t happy with the mare’s performances in two appearances.
Quintessential beat one runner home at her first run back when eleventh to Tagus in the Group 3 $125,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on September 8 then Sargent sent her for a spell after finishing fifth to Shoot Out in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22.
Sargent has picked out the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 9 for Quintessential to kick off her Autumn campaign followed by a run over the Ellerslie Carnival before heading to Sydney.
“All going well after Te Rapa we’ll probably look at a race at the Ellerslie carnival and beyond that there’s a good chance she’ll head to my Sydney stable for the autumn carnival.
“The ultimate would be to get her up for a race like the BMW.”
Quintessential first showed her staying potential when third to Artistic in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17 last year .
Sargent then brought the then three year old to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival and as well as stepping up to the 2400m of the Queensland Oaks, the filly showed her adaptability by handling the very heavy track on Oaks day before backing up a week later to run second to Brambles in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm again.
The top New Zealand trainer was back in the winner’s circle at Ellerslie on Sunday with his Group 1 winner Choice Bro taking out the $100,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Karaka 3yo Mile (1600m).
Choice Bro won the Group 1 NZ$225,000 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 31 last year but after a failed Queensland campaign was sent to the paddock and was subsequently found to have a hairline crack of his back cannon bone.
“He went okay for the first couple of starts, then dropped right off,” said Sargent.
“We brought him home and spelled him and it wasn’t until we put him back into work that we found he was lame behind.
“The x-ray showed a hairline crack of his back cannon bone, so he spent six weeks in his box.”
If Choice Bro continues to please Sargent a start in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 Telecom New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2 is on the cards.