Trainer John McArdle is pleased with the condition of Smart As You Think ahead of her run in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Smart As You Think has produced a number of strong performances and performances through four spring starts leading into the Crown Oaks, but has not had a faultless preparation having suffered from two hoof abscesses.
McArdle conceded that the filly faces a big task in overcoming the likes of Yankee Rose in the Crown Oaks 2016, but told Racing Ahead that she could not be fitter leading into the three-year-old staying test.
“As I said to the owners, I think she’ll be a better horse in 12 months’ time but she’s as well as she can possibly be to run in the Victoria Oaks, so we’re there having a good swing,” McArdle said.
“She’s given every impression she’ll run the distance. You never know until they go there, but she’s got the pedigree to suggest she will and she relaxes so well early.
“Yankee Rose, obviously history says she should win, but they’ve still got to do it.
“Apart from the, Eleanora, Harlow Gold and Anthony Cummings’ horse – I think they’re a fairly even bunch. We’ll be all looking for the chink in the armour.”
Smart As You Think has been allocated the outside barrier 15 for her run in the Crown Oaks, but McArdle believes that the drew could play into her strengths.
“She’s been ridden worse than mid-field in every start she’s had. Even if we’d drawn seven of eight we’d be midfield at best, so it’s not really coming out of the comfort zone for us,” he said.
Smart As You Think debuted to racing for third in a Sandown minor over 1300m in April, and was returned to the paddock after finishing third in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) two weeks later.
Resuming this time for fifth in the WeDrive.com.au BM78 (1400m) on August 27th, the So You Think filly placed second in the Listed Morphettville Guineas (1600m) and third in a Caulfield minor over a mile on October 12th, before savaging the line for a classy win in the LF Sign Group Handicap (2040m) last time out on October 21st.
Smart As You Think is currently available at 2016 Crown Oaks odds of $14 with Ladbrokes Australia.