The Sportsman Weekend
WILD’S ROSE TO KICK OFF IN HEATHERLIE AHEAD OF CUPS
PROGRESSIVE staying mare Tralee Rose will kick-off her spring preparation in the Listed Heatherlie Stakes (2700m) at Caulfield on Saturday with a view to her main goal third-up.
While she is nominated for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, trainer Symon Wilde is eyeing the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 as her feature target.
Wilde was disappointed with her trial last week but she has subsequently pleased in a track gallop ahead of Saturday, Wilde told RSN927.
“She had a bit of a lacklustre trial last week but I am pretty confident it was the track conditions that she didn’t really enjoy.
“We took her away for a gallop on Tuesday and Craig Williams galloped on top of the ground and she looked a lot better, and we were much happier going away from that gallop.”
Following the Heatherlie, she will tackle Group 3 Naturalism Stakes on September 18 before The Bart Cummings two weeks later.
“She will definitely improve with the run. 1700m is clearly going to be too short for her, but we are just looking a nice pipeopener and it leads in beautifully to the Naturalism.
“We don’t really have huge expectations for her on Saturday. We expect to start seeing a glimpse of her talent in the Naturalism.
“Then it is two weeks into the Bart Cummings, and we will be trying to peak her for that race.”
The daughter of Tavistock showed plenty talent last preparation, winning five of her seven starts, including the Listed Bagot Handicap and Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes.
She finished her campaign with a fourth placing in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup, which in hindsight Wilde said may have been a race too far after a long campaign.
“She is bigger and stronger and is coping with her work a lot better this time in,” Wilde said.
“She had quite a long campaign and she made big rise. She went from winning maiden to winning the Bagot, and the race over in Adelaide (Lord Reims Stakes).
“Maybe it was one run too many in the Adelaide Cup. She ran quite well but it was a bit below expectations. She did pull-up with a minor niggle afterwards.
“She has had minor knee surgery and that doesn’t seem to be troubling her in any way at the moment.
“It feels to me that she is fully mature now and will have her best campaigns as a five and six-year-old.
“Whether that is good enough to be competing with the real elite, we will find out soon enough.
“She have to have made improvement.
“She was winning really well but winning off-season races.
“This is a whole different kettle of fish (this spring) and she is going to have to have improve, and my eye she has.”