Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed that 2014 Crown Oaks winner Set Square will return to racing in the 2015 Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield on February 28.
Set Square contested the sixth jump-out of the morning at Caulfield this morning over 800 metres and he was taken to the tail of the field in the early stages of the trial, while Mick Price-trained Nordic Empire took up the running in the early stages of the trial.
The Crown Oaks winner picked up ground on the inside of the track and moved into sixth position, but he was kept under a heavy hold in the final stages of the trial and he finished in front of just one of his rivals.
Maher told TVN after the barrier trial that Set Square would likely have another competitive jump-out before she starts her autumn preparation in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) and builds towards races like the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
“She will have three runs into the Oaks in Sydney, probably two in Melbourne and I guess she will run in the old Vinery before the Oaks in Sydney,” Maher said.
“She has certainly improved condition wise.
“She will have another trial in two weeks then run first-up in the Armanasco.
“To do what she did in the spring was quite amazing and she really is an exciting horse.”
“She got squeezed at the start but she trialed OK and has pulled up fine which is the most important thing.”
Set Square made her racing debut with a third place finish in a maiden at Donald on September 15 before she scored her maiden race win in a 1600 metre event at Ballarat on October 8.
The Reset filly was quickly given an opportunity at black-type level in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18 and she sprinted away from her rivals to record an impressive two lengths win and stamp herself as a genuine Crown Oaks contender.
Set Square was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 6 and she was given a lovely run in transit by jockey Hugh Bowman before outstaying her rivals to record an impressive win.
Set Square is currently available at 2015 Australian Oaks odds of $6 with Ladbrokes Australia, while First Seal is a narrow favourite at a quote of $5.