Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer will head to Melbourne for her second Spring campaign with the Group 1 $2.5 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 her main target.
Secret Admirer was having her first serious hit out since finishing third to More Joyous in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28 with a second to Group 1 winner Atomic Force at this morning’s Randwick barrier trials.
Top Sydney jockey Corey Brown was aboard Secret Admirer and had her under a strong hold at the end of the 835m trial and was pleased with the mare’s effort even though she was a little bit underdone because of the wet weather.
“She was out to have a quiet look around. The instructions were to keep a good hold of her,” Brown said.
“I don’t know her that well but from what I saw this morning she seems a very clean winded animal and I was very happy.”
“Grahame said because of the weather, she’d missed a bit of work and he didn’t want her to have a gut-buster of a trial.”
Randwick trainer Grahame Begg hasn’t confirmed a defence of her crown in the Group 1 $500,000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 6 but said that Secret Admirer will kick off her Spring in the Group 2 $175,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on August 25.
“She may go on and run in the Epsom, I’m just not sure yet,” Begg said.
“The other race that is locked in is the Caulfield Stakes a week before the Caulfield Cup.”
“Provided we get that far she’ll go into the Caulfield Cup, which she’s fully qualified for, on the seven day back-up.”
Begg has chosen a different path this year for the Dubawi mare who was pitted up against the best weight-for-age horses when a creditable fifth to Pinker Pinker in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 at her next run after her Epsom win last year.
The four year old then went on to be beaten just over a length by Albert The Fat in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 5.
The Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 13 is run a week after the Epsom and it is highly unlikely that Begg would run the mare three week’s in a row into the Caulfield Cup.
The tough mare failed to win a race in the Autumn but was second to Ofcourseican in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24 and third to Metal Bender in the Group 1 $400,000 Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7.