Wood’s Lucky Shot at TJ Smith

Top Eagle Farm trainer Kelso Wood will consider paying the hefty late entry fee for the upcoming TJ Smith after his promising Ferocity filly Lucky Morna broke her maiden status over the weekend.

In a textbook ride from jockey Chris Munce, Lucky Morna ($2.80) easily beat home a field of seven two-year-olds in the opening race at Eagle Farm on Saturday, her closest rival being Paladin ($2.80) who was three and a quarter lengths away for second.

It was a dominant performance for the lightly-raced two-year-old, Lucky Morna saluting on a track rated a Heavy (8).

“Chris rode her confidently and she travelled beautifully for him,” Wood said after the race.

The Becks 2YO Handicap was Lucky Morna’s third career start, her next best performance having been a close third behind Amber’s Crown at Doomben over 1010m three weeks earlier.

“She’s been thrown in at the deep end,” Wood said.

“She never went to a maiden when she started off and went straight into the city.”

Saturday was also the young filly’s first start over 1200m and both Wood and Munce are assured she’s got more distance in her.

“The 1200 metres really suited her and she’ll be even better the further she goes,” Munce said.

Wood originally had the Group 2 QTC Sires Produces Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4 as the main winter aim for Lucky Morna.

When nominations for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Group 1 features were taken last week there were 173 early entries for the Patinack Farm T.J. Smith Two-Years-Old Plate, which will run on June 11 as part of the elite line-up on Stradbroke Handicap Day.

Wood did not choose to nominate any of his youngsters for the $500,000 feature, but Lucky Morna’s debut win could see her become a late entry.

“She’ll run in the Sires but I didn’t nominate her for the TJ Smith,” Wood said.

“I might have to pay a late entry for that race now.”

Munce also believes in Lucky Morna’s ability if she steps up to a Group 1 during the carnival.

“She needs to improve a couple more lengths for the bigger races but she’s headed the right way,” he said.

Saturday also saw Wood’s Queensland Derby hopeful Igles Star run an eye-catching third to Chateau Fort in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m).

The Paul Messara-trained colt Chateau Fort, unbeaten this prep, is currently at $14 to take out the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) behind Peck ($6.50), Shootoff ($10) and Leading ($13) while Igles Star remains a $41 outsider.