Trainer Jamie Richards is delighted with the condition of quality Kiwi filly Probabeel as she prepares to tackle a hot line-up in the Gr.1 Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday, which includes the first two placegetters from the Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and highly-touted juvenile Castelvecchio.
The 29-year-old conditioner is confident the Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned filly will take good improvement from her sixth placing in the Gr.3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m), where she was strong through the line on an unsuitable heavy10 surface.
“She’s come through it really well,” Richards said.
“She’s had three weeks into the Sires’ which we think suits her and she looked a picture this morning.”
With Randwick rated a soft7 on Friday and a fine weather forecast, Richards believes the fresh surface will be to Probabeel’s liking.
“She got through the heavy10 at Rosehill okay, but we certainly think she’s better on top of the ground and hopefully if we miss a few showers here today the track is still going to be reasonable,” Richards said.
“I guess the main thing is, it’s a fresh track, it hasn’t been raced on in a little while and we’re looking forward to seeing her on a slightly better surface.”
Probabeel was a runaway winner of the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and had seven weeks between runs when she contested the Magic Night.
“She’s handled the travel well, she’s got a great attitude and we’re pleased with how she worked on Tuesday and Thursday,” Richards said.
“It’s a very good field, there’s a lot of (Golden) Slipper form in the race, so we’re under no illusions as to how difficult the task is in front of us tomorrow.”
Rider Opie Bosson will have his work cut-out from the draw (12), with the daughter of Savabeel jumping from gates 14 and 13 respectively in her past two starts.
“She just has no luck with her barrier draws,” Richards said. “She drew the outside in the Karaka Million and wide again tomorrow. It is her racing pattern to get back a bit but she’s probably going to be three-deep with a bit of cover at best I would have thought.”
Meanwhile, Richards was happy to recommend to connections of In A Twinkling that they pay the A$44,000 late entry fee for Saturday’s Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) after his fifth placing in last week’s Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
“It was his first run in a very heavy track,” Richards said. “He’s a good tough horse that’s improved through the week so we know he has to find a few lengths to be competitive in the Derby but we’re looking forward to it.
“We purposely aimed him toward to Tulloch so he could have a week off after the New Zealand Derby.
“We came over a few years ago with Gingernuts and he ran very well in winning the Rosehill Guineas (Gr.1, 2000m), but by the time he got to the Derby he was almost over the top.
“That year Jon Snow ran in the Tulloch and won that and then won the Australian Derby. We thought we’d follow that path, and he has improved during the week and James McDonald was happy enough with his run the other day.
“We’re there to have crack. We’re proud Kiwis and we love representing the country and coming over here and trying to take some stake money home. We’re looking forward to the challenge of The Championships, it’s one of the pinnacles of Australian racing and it’s just great to have a couple of really nice horses here.” – NZ Racing Desk