Trainer Grahame Begg will send Group 1 winning mare Secret Admirer to Melbourne this week with the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 firmly on the agenda.
Begg was more than pleased with Secret Admirer’s fifth to Fat Al in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday running home strongly from well back in the field.
“They went too slow through the middle stages for a horse like her to be winning,” Begg said.
“She was one of the few horses to make up ground from back in the field and got held up a bit at the top of the straight.”
Secret Admirer hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since taking out last year’s Epsom Handicap and Begg is adamant that the five year old is looking for a longer journey.
“I thought she ran very well and to me she is racing as if she needs a lot more ground,” Begg said.
Even though Secret Admirer has been winless for a year, her recent Spring form has been okay with three placings at Group 1 and Group 2 level including a third to Shoot Out in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22 the start before the Epsom.
The furthest that the five year old mare has raced was a creditable fifth to Pinker Pinker in last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate at Moonee Valley over 2040m and also ran third to More Joyous in the 2000m Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 28.
Begg will now go into the Caulfield Cup without another lead-up run but is on the lookout for a rider after Corey Brown and top kiwi jockey James McDonald have both been on the mare recently.
“We’ll be sorting that out in the middle of the week,” Begg said.
“She’s a clean-winded animal and going straight into the Caulfield Cup will suit her.”
“She’s racing well and they tend to run Caulfield Cups pretty solidly throughout, which will suit her.”
Secret Admirer is currently equal fourteenth in the order of entry for the Caulfield Cup in two weeks and has the luxury weight of 53kg and is at the juicy odds of $51.
Trainer Leon Macdonald will still proceed to the Caulfield Cup with last year’s winner Southern Speed even though the mare put in one of the worst runs of her career in beating one runner home in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the weekend.
The Vet’s couldn’t find anything amiss with Southern Speed but Macdonald could find a couple of excuses after the mare’s poor performance.
“Of course she can bounce back,” Macdonald said.
“The vet’s gone over her and can find nothing wrong.”
“They can all run a bad race, her run might not have been much worse than Manighar’s was a fortnight ago.”
“She missed the start and travelled four-deep the trip – she had a horrible run. She might have jarred up just slightly, but I’m not blaming that.”
“We’ll put it down to circumstances We’ll press on regardless. It’s onwards and upwards and we’ll see if I can turn her around.”