Last start winner Spinderbella will be back in action in the $80,000 Sportingbet Powered By William Hill Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday after not racing for five weeks.
Spinderbella hasn’t raced since winning a Fillies and Mares Handicap over 2040m at Moonee Valley on October 24 and even though trainer Robert Smerdon says that the five year old mare is fit and healthy, it is still a concern that she hasn’t had a run for over a month.
“It’s an issue but she’s a light framed mare and she’s pretty clean-winded so I’m hoping that what she’d done previously has her fit enough but it’s not ideal because she’s now five weeks between runs,” Smerdon told Racing.com.
Even though Spinderbella hasn’t raced for five weeks, she has still been to the races on two occasions only to be pulled out before race time.
The Spinning World mare was due to start in the Group 2 $300,000 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the final day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival but stewards acceded to a request from Smerdon to scratch her after the track was upgraded from a Good 3 to a Good 2.
Smerdon feared that the firm Flemington track would be harmful for Spinderbella who had had knee problems in the past.
And then Spinderbella was declared a late scratching from the Listed $200,000 Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat last Saturday after undergoing a vet’s examination behind the barriers after jockey Chad Schofield felt that her action was not right on the way to the start.
“We pulled her out of the firm track at Flemington because she feels her knees a bit and last week it was just because I hadn’t alerted Chad Schofield to the fact that she doesn’t have the gait of a normal horse,” Smerdon said.
“Chad was concerned and she was checked by the vet and was scratched but if I had of forewarned him that might not have happened.
“She’s still completed all of her routine work and we’ve had no issues with her there.”
Craig Williams takes over the reins this week and Smerdon expects Spinderbella to get back in the field from her wide barrier.
“She’ll come into barrier 13 if the emergencies come out and she does tend to get back in her races anyway,” Smerdon said.
“It probably means that she’ll end up near last which probably isn’t ideal but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and I still think she can be very competitive here.”
Smerdon is keen to step the mare up in distance after Saturday and will head to Werribee for the Listed $120,000 Handicap (2600m) on December 14 and then back to Flemington for the Listed $150,000 Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
Spinderbella is currently the $6 second favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sportingbet Powered By William Hill Handicap behind the Peter Moody trained Metaphorical who heads the market order at $5.
Tango’s Daughter is next in the betting at $7 ahead of Massiyn and Alcohol at $8, Clang And Bang at $8.50 and Extra Zero at $10.