The Gai Waterhouse stable is prepared to overlook Sweet Idea’s lacklustre performance in the T J Smith Stakes and expect her to be back to her best when she steps out in the Group 2 $175,000 McGrath Estate Agents Missile Stakes(1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Sweet Idea was always back in the field and struggled to make up any ground in the heavy conditions when ninth to Australia’s new sprinting star Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
But a 1050m Randwick barrier trial win and a stirring gallop with the blinkers on in between races at Rosehill last Saturday has boosted the confidence of the stable.
“A lot of horses didn’t perform up to their best that day and she was one of them,” stable foreman Mark Newnham told the Sportsman.
“She is very rarely out of the money and she galloped really well the other day.”
“She galloped with the blinkers on last week and it really switched her on.”
“Gai wanted to see her work a little bit sharper and she did and she will take a fair bit of beating.”
Waterhouse agreed with Newnham and was very impressed with the gallop as well.
“I thought that her gallops between races were very impressive, especially last Saturday where she was in the blinkers,” Waterhouse said.
“I thought that she was a very focused mare there and she has made the weight-for-age improvement.”
Sweet Idea has won twice at Group 2 level but is yet to claim a Group 1 prize, recording two placings in the top company.
The Snitzel mare won the Group 2 $200,000 Patinack Farm Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in her two year old season during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival before running third to stablemate Overreach in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
Then during her last preparation in this year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival Sweet Idea took out the Group 2 $175,000 Red Lea Chickens Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 22 in her lead up to the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22 when a nose second to tear away leader Steps In Time.
Sweet Idea is well up in the market order at Labdrokes.com.au for the Missile Stakes at $3.80 and is challenging Rebel Dane, $3.60, for favouritism.
Rebel Dane beat Sweet Idea home when second in the T J Smith Stakes before the Gary Portelli trained sprinter went on to Brisbane for a short campaign during the Winter Carnival.
The California Dane stallion made up plenty of ground in the straight when fourth to Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 then came from the back again to finish seventh to River Lad in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.
Other runners in the betting for the Missile Stakes are the Team Hawkes trained Messene at $4 and the Chris Waller pair of Boban at $9 and Weary at $10.
Tommy Berry will back aboard Sweet Idea and the mare will jump from gate seven in the nine horse field.