Trainer Robert Smerdon has discarded a wide a barrier for his super filly Mosheen in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnpoint Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Jockey Danny Nikolic produced a superb ride to take out the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3 on Mosheen and Smerden is confident the top rider can repeat that effort.
Nikolic had to manoeuvre the Fastneck Rock filly over from the extreme outside barrier to have her one off the fence midfield at the half way mark before getting a split in the straight to score a runaway win.
The Crown Oaks winner came up with gate fourteen in a field of seventeen but Smerdon said that Nikolic will have plenty of time to get over from the 1600m start.
“After Danny’s last ride on her, he should have no trouble getting in on her so the barrier’s not too bad. Besides, there is nothing you can do about it anyway,” Smerdon said.
“Everyone you talk to says the mile start at Randwick is the fairest start in Australia.”
“The long run to the first turn gives the jockeys every chance to get in and find a good position.”
Smerdon said that Mosheen has pleased him after her demolition of the Australian Guineas field but is wary of the local group of three year olds in Sydney.
“Manawanui is a beauty and Strike The Stars looks a really good horse, his second in the Australian Guineas was terrific,” Smerdon said.
“It’s always hard to beat local horses anywhere you go. It’s doesn’t matter if it is Sydney, Adelaide, Hong Kong – it’s tough to travel horses.”
“But the filly is fit and well. She will travel up there on Thursday night and we give her a good chance.”
Mosheen is currently $3.50 second favourite just behind local three year old Manawanui at $3.10 with the Anthony Cummings trained Strike The Stars at $14.
Manawanui is coming off two seconds this time in and trainer Ron Leemon is hoping for a change of luck for the Oratorio gelding in the Randwick Guineas.
At his first run back from a spell Manawanui had to change course in the straight when second to Hot Snitzel in the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
Then he was first past the post in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 3 only to be relegated to second on protest.
Cummings is looking for improvement from Strike The Stars after coming off a sound second to Mosheen in the Australian Guineas at only his second run back from a spell.
The Savabeel three year old will be more tuned up with that run under his belt and Cummings is certain he will be equal to Mosheen fitness wise.
“You wonder, off that routine, how much improvement she might have back at a mile (1600m) again, whereas, undoubtedly we will improve given the routine we had going into it,” Cummings said.