Matthew Smith’s maiden Group 1 winner Hurtle Myrtle is due back in the Warwick Farm trainer’s care at the end of the month and will be aimed at the 2012 Doncaster Mile Handicap during next year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Five-year-old Dane Shadow mare Hurtle Myrtle broke not only her own elite level maiden status but Smith’s as well when her spring campaign this year culminated with a smart one and a quarter length victory in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
It was a brave win considering she not only overcame a wide barrier 13 of 15 draw and was running over the mile for just the second time in her 19-start career, but because she struck early interference in the run before recovering to power home.
The Myer Classic was Hurtle Myrtle’s fourth turf triumph, her other notable wins being in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick back in April and the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
At her only other start over the 1600 metres, Hurtle Myrtle recorded a Group 1 placing when third to Gai Waterhouse’s glamour mare More Joyous in the 2009 Flight Stakes at Randwick.
Smith is looking forward to getting Hurtle Myrtle back to work and confirmed the Doncaster Mile was the main aim.
“Hurtle Myrtle isn’t due to return to the stables until the end of this month and then we will start to get her ready for the Doncaster Mile,” Smith said.
The $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m), won this year by Sacred Choice who later ran second to Hurtle Myrtle in the Myer Classic, is scheduled to run at Royal Randwick on April 21, 2012.
It is shaping up as a crack Doncaster Mile field next year with another notable horse heading towards the feature being Golden Rose winner Manawanui.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming months for all the latest autumn carnival race field and betting details.
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