Oakleigh Plate winner Booker has freshened up nicely in preparation for another first up win when she lines up in the Group 1 $750,000 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morpettville on Saturday.
Booker has a great first up record with three wins and a second from five attempts and co-trainer Simon Zahra gave the mare plenty of time to get over her unplaced run when ninth in the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.
At her previous start Booker stormed home from back in the field to claim her maiden Group 1 victory in the $500,000 Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23.
Zahra and co-trainer Mat Ellerton had planned to run Booker in the Morphettville Group 1 double during the 2019 Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival but the Written Tycoon mare took longer than anticipated to get over her run in the Newmarket Handicap and she had to miss running in the $600,000 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) on May 4.
“She didn’t come out of the Newmarket like we had hoped, so we gave her a few weeks up at Barry’s farm on the grass, head down and just to recover,” Zahra told racing.com.
“We were keen to get to the Sangster and the Goodwood but ran out of time for the Sangster.”
“The Goodwood is the logical option and maybe Queensland if she performs well on Saturday.”
“It just took a bit longer than we wanted to get over that run so we just had to make the call to miss the Sangster and not rush her and have her ready for the Goodwood.”
“She has had a perfect prep since. She returned back to the stables and had a couple of nice jump outs and she will have a good gallop on the grass tomorrow morning and that should just tighten her up nicely for Saturday.”
“All her form suggests that her first up form is her best, or her first two runs.”
“She is in great shape and didn’t lose a lot of residual fitness from that freshen up so she is forward enough to run a big race.”
Melbourne based jockey Dwayne Dunn replaces Oakleigh Plate winning jockey Dean Yendall on Booker who has drawn awkwardly at barrier fifteen in the sixteen horse Goodwood field.
Booker goes up sharply in the weights to 56.5kg under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race and will carry 4.5kg more than she carried to victory in the Oakleigh Plate.
Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Booker marked at $9 while the Robert Sangster Stakes winner Spright is the reigning $3.50 favourite.
Spright was also given the visitor’s drawn and will start from the outside barrier, as she did in the Robert Sangster Stakes, and will also carry 56.5kg with Damien Oliver in the saddle again.