Group 1 winning mare Red Tracer has convinced Nash Rawiller that she is back in the right frame of mind for a first up tilt at the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Trainer Chris Waller has given Red Tracer a freshen up since running third to Diamond Drille in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 19 and Rawiller said that the mare felt great winning a 1030m Rosehill barrier on Tuesday.
“She seems in a really good frame of mind again,’’ Rawiller told The Daily Telegraph.
Rawiller has been Red Tracer’s regular rider over the past twelve months with the pair collecting two Group 1 victories but the leading Sydney jockey said that she didn’t quite feel herself at the end of her Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign.
“The whole time I’ve been riding her, she’s always been one of the most competitive mares you’d ride, but she didn’t quite seem herself for a couple of runs in the autumn,” Rawiller said.
Rawiller and Red Tracer shone during the Brisbane Winter Carnival last year with wins in the Group 2 $200,000 Patinack Farm Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) both at Eagle Farm and then took that winning form to Melbourne in the Spring with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington.
But Rawiller has a theory for Red Tracer’s below par Autumn form and can pin point an incident shortly after the start in the Group 1 $500,000 Guinness Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick when she was badly interfered with.
“Whether that had something to do with a bad check in (the Canterbury Stakes), I’m not sure,” Rawiller said.
“Judging by the past two trials, I think she’s back from the brink.”
Waller has less than a fortnight to have Red Tracer primed for the Stradbroke Handicap and Rawiller is happy with the mare’s fitness levels as she attempts to regain her best form.
“She’s in quite well at the weights (with 56kg in the Stradbroke), she’s still got that residual fitness, so the 1400m will be no problem for her.’’
Red Tracer is currently a $13 chance in the Stradbroke Handicap betting with the Victorian filly Srikandi heading the market order at $4.50.
Consistent Group 1 performer Rebel Dane is on the second line of betting at $7 just ahead of Hucklebuck at $8 and Doomben 10,000 winner Spirit Of Boom at $9 while Red Tracer’s stablemate Catkins is marked as $10 chance with Knoydart at $11.