It’s an interesting prospect for stakes winning mare Royal Commands at Moonee Valley tomorrow, either win the race or be sold.
That’s the situation she faces with her spot already booked in the Australian Weanling and Bloodstock sale.
Her owners have listed the four-year-old for the Sydney based auction this upcoming Thursday but her fate isn’t sealed yet.
They have indicated that should she win tomorrow’s Gillies Country Cup she will likely be retained as a racehorse for a while longer yet.
Royal Commands races under the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra partnership and has shown a bit of potential after being well tried as a younger horse.
The thought process now is that she could develop into a quality stayer after beating Zoomin at her last start.
She’ll face the same rival again tomorrow and if she wins by a similarly easy margin not only will it qualify her for the finals of the Banjo Patterson series, but potentially a future stakes return.
“Where she goes and what she does is dependent on her performance on Saturday,” Zahra said.
“If she comes out and wins tomorrow she probably won’t go to the sale but if she goes ordinary he (the owners) will probably send her.”
She’s already had 19 starts in her career and in that time recorded a modest three victories.
Much of those were over shorter trips though and thus far the staying experiment seems to be working.
At Flemington she was close but not close enough on three separate occasions around a mile before being pushed up to 2100m at Sandown, it was her first race beyond 1700m but she looked like a true professional.
“When she was racing at Flemington they just kept flushing her out early all the time but at Sandown over more ground she was able to sit longer and really showed that good turn of foot that’s she got,” Zahra said.
“She seems to enjoy bobbing along outside the leader in that front running style and she will probably do the same again tomorrow and try and dictate a bit.
“She has made good improvement and we are pleased the way she is going.
“It doesn’t look an overly-strong race and Zoomin is probably the one to beat with a weight turn around.”
Royal Commands will be ridden by Chris Symons at 55kg, two kilograms more than her last start while Michael Kent has made an real effort with his horse Zoomin.
Daniel Stackhouse will take the reins this time out and as a result of his 3kg claim the horse will drop 1.5kg to a 56kg weight.
Zahra is aware that it’s a big square up in that department but feels it’ll be offset by the experience his horse gained from the last run.
“Zoomin had good sectionals late last start but she (Royal Commands) is learning her craft a bit and seems a lot better now,” Zahra said.