New Zealand-based trainer Grant Cullen has revealed that the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Royal Randwick on March 29 is on the agenda for talented mare Irish Fling.
Irish Fling broke through for her maiden win at Group 1 level with a narrow victory over Natuzzi and Jaggard in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 18 and connections are now eyeing off a win at the highest level of racing in Australia to further increase her value as a broodmare.
Cullen told the New Zealand Racing Desk that Irish Fling will have her next race start in the Group 3 Darley Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 1 before a potential trip to Australia that could include a number of starts in Group 1 events.
“It might be a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, but Australian black type will boost her value as a broodmare,” Cullen said.
“We’ll have a crack at the Darley Plate on March 1 first to try her right-handed and if she performs well she could go over to Sydney for The Galaxy at Randwick on March 29.
“That’s the longer-term plan and there’s not much else here for her.
“If she did run well in The Galaxy there’s the TJ Smith a fortnight later or plenty of other Group Two and Three races.”
Irish Fling has had just fifteen race starts since making her racing debut in 2011 and worked her way through the grades steadily before stamping herself as a contender at Group level during her spring campaign last year.
The daughter of Darci Brahma made her Group debut with a fourth place finish behind Historian in the Group 3 Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings on October 5 and scored a maiden black type win in the Listed Pegasus Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton park on November 9 before finishing her campaign with an unlucky third in the Group 3 Stewards Stakes at the same venue four days later.
Irish Fling was given a brief freshen up following her impressive win in the Telegraph Handicap and Cullen said she will be in excellent condition when she returns to racing next month.
“She had some time off after that and she had her first run along last Saturday morning and went very well,” Cullen said.
“She’ll come back up to speed pretty quickly.”
Cullen, who trains in partnership with Grant Lowry, will be having his first runner in Australia since Pimms Time finished tenth behind Beaten Up in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.