The Robert Smerdon trained fillies Lumosty and Crafty dominate the betting for the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on Thursday.
In a wide open market with six fillies under double figures, Moonee Valley Fillies Classic winner Lumosty heads the betting with Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.80 just in front of her stablemate Crafty at $5.
Smerdon will also saddle up Caulfield Classic winner Fontein Ruby who lost some supporters following her last start sixth to Thunder Lady in the Group 2 $300,000 Racing.com Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday and is at the good odds of $14.
After winning by nine lengths in a Sale Maiden, Lumosty was sent out the favourite for the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 but was always well back in the pack and never threatened to run eighth to Amicus.
But she redeemed herself with the punters with a two and a half lengths win as an odds on favourite in the Group 2 $200,000 Drummond Golf Fillies Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Smerdon is happy with Lumosty since her win at Moonee Valley but said like all the fillies that the 2500m could be the question mark.
“She is another filly with a good constitution and I would have thought the Valley has topped her off,” Smerdon told Racing Ahead.
“There was improvement out of the Valley for her, whether she goes the 2500m is the question that they all have to answer tomorrow.”
“She is a very relaxed horse, she switches off, if she rests in the run it gives her a better chance to run it but that is probably the query with her she hasn’t really got a true staying pedigree.”
Smerdon has been pleased with Crafty’s campaign to date and expects a good barrier to help her chances in the Crown Oaks.
Crafty will jump from gate three after coming out of nine when third to stablemate Fontein Ruby in the Group 2 $200,000 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 4 and then second again to Fontein Ruby in the Group 3 $750,000 racing.com Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18.
“She’s been good. All her runs this time around she has drawn terribly,” Smerdon said.
“So while she does get off the speed anyway, she has been forced to get further off the speed than was ideal on those particular days and made a lot of ground to get to where she got to, so hopefully I am expecting from this better barrier she can take a better spot in the running and not have so much to do and she has got the pedigree to run the trip right out.”
Smerdon describes Fontein Ruby as a tough filly and expects her to take up her normal position on the speed from barrier six and is happy with her progress since finishing sixth in the Wakeful Stakes.
“She come through it really well,” Smerdon said.
“She did a lot of work in the early part there and faced the breeze which was a tough thing to do on Saturday but on the line she was still strong.”
“She coped with the run particularly well, we expected that she would, she’s got that sort of constitution. Happy for her to take her place.”
“She will certainly be on the speed I would think.”
Crown Oaks market order: $4.80 Lumosty, $5 Crafty, $5.50 Go Indy Go, $7.50 Thunder Lady, Set Square, $8 Abduction, $14 Fontein Ruby, $19 Golconda, $26 Imperial Lass, $31 Yesterjoy, $41 Hipster Girl, Game Of Fame.