Robert Smerdon has both Politeness and Shamal Wind in the 2014 How Now Stakes field and the veteran trainer is happy with the condition of both mares heading into the Group 3 event at Caulfield this weekend.
Politeness has not been seen at the races since she took out the Group 3 P.J. Bell Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 last year, but has been given three barrier trials at Cranbourne to get her ready for the start of her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Smerdon is happy with the progress that Politeness has made ahead of her return to racing and is eyeing the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day with the daughter of Street Sense, but told Racing Ahead that he believes she faces a difficult assignment with 57 kilograms on her back.
“She is going to get back off the speed and you would like to think that they will be running on by that stage of the day,” Smerdon said.
“She has been in work a good while and she is starting to look really well.
“She has had a few easy trials, but we are going to race her sparingly, heading to the Myer Classic.
“She is ready to go, but she is probably not well-treated by the set weights and penalties conditions of this race.
“She is in really good shape and I can see her running well.”
Shamal Wind returned to racing with an unlucky fourth place finish in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 23 and will carry a kilogram less than her stablemate in the How Now Stakes this weekend.
The Dubawi mare generally produces her best form over 1000 metres, but Smerdon is hoping that a soft run in the early stages of the race will help the five-year-old run out a strong 1200 metres on Saturday.
“She gets a really good run here,” Smerdon said.
“She just gets 1200, it is her upper limit, and I would rather it be something shorter.
“She has to be held up for that late sprint, but from that draw she can get a good run for a long way, so that helps her.
“I am pretty happy with her as well.”
Shamal Wind has been the best-backed runner in the 2014 How Now Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, while Politeness is available at How Now Stakes odds of $13.