Talented mare Sweet Idea will head to the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 after she scored a tough win in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Sweet Idea took up the running in the early stages of the Missile Stakes and found the fence at the 800 metre mark before jockey Tommy Berry steered her away from the track coming around the final turn.
Team Hawkes-trained Messene challenged for the lead at the 400 metre mark and looked as though he got his nose in front with 100 metres left to run, but Sweet Idea dug deep to record her third win at Group 2 level.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was thrilled with the tough victory of Sweet Idea, but was quickly looking to the future with the daughter of Snitzel; with the Warwick Stakes on the agenda for the four-year-old before a potential crack at the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4.
I thought Sweet Idea was beaten at the top of the straight and then in the last 50m she looked gone again, but she said I’m not going to let you beat me,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“Sweet Idea is a strong mare and now she has made the transition to weight-for-age racing, my goal with her is to win a Group 1 race and it is just a matter of when we attack the Group 1s.
“I feel the Memsie Stakes in three weeks might be too soon for her, but she can run in the Warwick Stakes in a couple of weeks on her home track.
“The Epsom Handicap is a race I think will be right up her alley.
“It’s a race I’ve won seven times and Sweet Idea is the perfect type of horse for that race.”
Berry said last month that he was confident Sweet Idea would be able to record a win at the highest level of racing during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he believes that the mare will take plenty of benefit from her Missile Stakes win.
The leading hoop admitted that he thought Messene had the measure of Sweet Idea in the final stages of the race and was full of praise for the toughness and determination of the four-year-old.
“She had a big blow today and she was quite big in condition herself,” Berry said.
“I know some horses will improve but so will she.
“She bottomed out at the 100 metres and I thought Messene had me, but she just doesn’t know how to give up.”
Rebel Dane resumed with a close third in the Missile Stakes, while Boban made up plenty of ground late to finish fourth after missing the start.