Mick Price’s Group 1 winning mare Secret Agenda will warm up for the Robert Sangster Stakes in the Group 3 $120,000 Hughes Limousines R N Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Secret Agenda was also an acceptor for the Listed $120,000 Ladbrokes Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday but Price has scratched her from her Melbourne engagement and has elected to give her another look at the Morphettville track before heading back there to defend her crown in the Group 1 $1m Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in a fortnight.
“She’s a good traveller and I just felt the trip away will help bring her on and she did come up with the inside gate,” Price explained.
“She’s gone to Sydney and won off the truck and she’s done the same in Adelaide and look, she hasn’t raced for 29 days and this will help tighten her up with an eye to going back for the Group 1 in two weeks.”
Price has engaged top Adelaide jockey Dom Tourneur to partner Secret Agenda who has drawn the rails in the ten horse R N Irwin Stakes field at hr first run since finishing ninth in the Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 23.
Secret Agenda will be lining up again against Viddora in the R N Irwin Stakes after she beat the Lloyd Kennewell trained mare in last year’s Robert Sangster Stakes.
Viddora has drawn nicely at barrier three and will be ridden again by regular partner Joe Bowditch and the pair will be looking to maintain their winning run together after claiming the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot during the 2017 Perth Summer Carnival before winning the $1m Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
The I Am Invincible mare has won a 1000m Morphettville barrier trial in preparation for her return to the race track and Kennewell is happy with her progress ahead of her Autumn Carnival campaign which will include a run in the Robert Sangster Stakes.
“She’s a pretty cruisy horse, she never really gets a whole heap of time off, one month here, one month there, but she’s come back a treat,” Kennewell told racing.com.
“It’s one of the strongest editions of the Irwin I can remember. There are three Group 1 winners in it. It’s a hot little field.”
“But I still think my mare’s the one to beat.
“She won it (the Irwin) last year beating Illustrious Lad and I think there’s no doubt she’s better than last year.”
Ladbrokes.com.au have Viddora marked as the $2.50 favourite for the R N Irwin Stakes while Secret Agenda is on the third line of betting at $5 with the Henry Dwyer trained Snitty Kitty splitting the pair at $4.60.