QTC Cup winner Varenna Miss will not start in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap after trainer Tony Noonan decided to stick with his original plan and aim her at Winter Stakes.
“We did her blood work yesterday and the picture’s not as good as it was. I have no doubt she could improve but you have to be right at the top of your game in these big races and unfortunately she’s just not there.
“She’ll go to the Winter Stakes. That’s been the plan all along.” Noonan said.
Varenna Miss is still lightly raced with just nine race starts and Noonan said that this campaign was as much about learning as anything else.
“She’s still learning what it’s all about. We’ll look after her at this stage and develop her for next year,” said Noonan.
Noonan also said that he was not keen on racing the mare in tough races on consecutive Saturday’s.
Varenna Miss has won both of her starts in Brisbane during the winter carnival. First up at Doomben she won impressively against a quality a field over 1200m, before winning Group Two QTC Cup and earning an exemption from the Stradbroke, which Noonan has decided to pass on.
Noonan has decided against starting Varenna Miss in a barrier trial before the Winter Stakes, instead he said that he would give the mare a couple of solid track gallops leading into the race.
Despite the fact that he has pulled out of one of the winter carnival features, Noonan was singing the praises of the Brisbane carnival.
“She’s absolutely blossomed in Brisbane. I’ve been bringing horses up here for 15 years and the sunshine, the great races, it just makes them better horses.” Noonan said.
Noonan also confirmed that Varenna Miss would be spelled after the Group One Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm, with a view towards the Melbourne spring carnival.
“One more run will be perfect for her. Then we’ll have a look at what’s ahead.” Noonan said.
Varenna Miss was well supported in the Stradbroke Handicap market at $13.00.