Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes favourite Pinker Pinker could secure a 2012 Caulfield Cup bid in the spring if she successfully adds a second Group 1 title to her record at Warwick Farm and continues on to run well over more distance this season.
Greg Eurell’s Reset mare is most famous for her tidy win over Kiwi galloper Jimmy Choux in last year’s $3.5 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The spring was a successful one for the four-year-old who also secured a Group 2 victory in the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington as well as notching up a number of stakes placings including her second to Secret Admirer in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
She faces a tough test against a quality field that features six other Group 1 winners including the Chris Waller-trained trio of Danleigh, Shoot Out and Rangirangdoo.
As well as the strength of her opposition and her outside draw, history also says Pinker Pinker’s task is a testing one.
Only one horse before her has successfully scored the Cox Plate – Chipping Norton Stakes double in the same season with Carbon Copy (1949), no Victorian horse has won the race in the past two decades and over the past 25 years only one mare has saluted in the Chipping Norton.
Still, Eurell believes in his mare and is tipping her to improve from her first-up second behind King Mufhasa in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and take the honours on Saturday.
Eurell is also using Pinker Pinker’s performance in the Chipping Norton to decide where to next this autumn.
Possible targets include either the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2500m) or $400,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill’s Golden Slipper meeting on April 7, as well as the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 21.
In the future 2012 Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au Pinker Pinker is paying a generous $19 in markets firmly led by Thousand Guineas winning filly Atlantic Jewel ($6) who is likely to resume racing in about a month’s time.
A solid autumn could then be followed by a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival assault targeting the famous $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in mid-October.
“Ideally, if we could head to the BMW, then next time in we could even have a look at the Caulfield Cup,” Eurell said.
“If she goes as well as I expect, we’ll head to the Ranvet, otherwise the Doncaster is something I would consider.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) runs on March 24 at Rosehill Gardens.
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