Randwick-based horseman Grahame Begg may have the likely Coolmore Classic 2012 betting favourite Secret Admirer in fine form ahead of Saturday’s showdown, but he remains wary of the talented Streama.
Fifteen fillies and mares were nominated for the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) when early entries for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival clash were taken today, the top-rated of which was Secret Admirer.
The four-year-old daughter of Dubawi is a well-performing miler having won the 2010 Coolmore Flight Stakes and last year’s Epsom Handicap, both at Randwick over 1600-metres, and she also ran a close third in open sex company in the Emirates Stakes last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
She finally gets close to that distance on Saturday after running a first-up third over 1200m last month and a last-start fifth to fellow Coolmore Classic hopeful Steps In Time in the Wiggle Stakes over 1400m at Warwick Farm on March 10.
“(Secret Admirer) will have top weight but she has earned it,” Begg said.
“And as long as there is enough speed she will be right in it.
“What people say are her two worst runs have been when there was no pace and they sprinted home…last start in the Wiggle.
“She just can’t go with them when they do that.
“She hasn’t put a foot wrong since her last run, and worked very strongly on the Kenso track on Saturday morning.”
Begg knows Secret Admirer is gearing up for a big run and that the distance will suit, but he isn’t ignoring the weight she gives away to Guy Walter’s talented three-year-old Stratum filly Streama.
“(Streama) is an outstanding filly and Guy Walter always gets his horses to improve as they get into a preparation,” Begg said.
Three-year-old fillies have won 18 of the 38 editions of the Coolmore, but the only one of these to carry a comparative weight to Streama’s 55kg was Assertive Lass with 55.5kg in 1997.
“It is very hard for three-year-old fillies as they get up in the weights in this race becase they quickly become too close to the older mares,” Begg said.
Winner of last spring’s Coolmore Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile, Streama also won the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill and the Group 2 Furious Stakes over 1400m at the Farm to score the Princess Series Triple Crown last prep.
She resumed with a close first-up second to Sea Siren in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) on February 18 before turning the tables to win the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 10.
Secret Admirer will be out to hand Begg his first Coolmore Classic win, the trainer having come close with Group 1 winners Bonanova (1999) and Whisked (1991) both running second in their attempts.
“I have had two close seconds and Dual Treasures ran third (in 1991) the year Quicksilver Cindy beat Whisked, and Palacio De Cristal also ran third,” Begg said.
“So it has been a frustrating race.”
Other possible rivals for Secret Admirer in the Coolmore Classic 2012 include last Saturday’s Aspiration Quality winner over the mile at Randwick Fibrillation, the Peter Moody-trained King’s Rose who was a close second in the Emirates Stakes last year and Rob Heathcote’s consistent Queensland visitor Tomboy.
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