A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Ballarat-based horseman Robert Smerdon is looking down the barrel of a second successive Crown Oaks success after his improving Shamardal filly Bloomingdale Miss won her latest assignment at Caulfield Racecourse over the weekend.
Smerdon enjoyed a big Melbourne Cup Carnival victory in last year’s $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington with the brilliant Mosheen who won the classic nine lengths ahead of New Zealander Dowager Queen.
Now he is considering the Crown Oaks 2012, to run on Thursday November 8, for Bloomingdale Miss who took her record to two wins from four starts with a one and three quarter length victory over Walk With Attitude in the $80,000 Metro Solar Benchmark 78 (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday when carrying a hefty 60kg.
The eye-catching win has Smerdon convinced Bloomingdale Miss has a better race in her this time in and that she will improve going up in distance over her next few runs.
“I’m pretty sure she’ll get over a lot more ground,” Smerdon said.
“She’s by Shamardal, who won the French Derby, and the mare she’s out of (New York Style) was stakes-placed twice up to 2400 so she should get a middle distance, 1600 to 2000.”
While he knows stepping up to the grade of a Group 1 Crown Oaks is a tough ask for the lightly-raced filly, he will pursue that dream until Bloomingdale Miss fails to live up to his expectations of her.
“The thing I’m concerned about is that a race like the Oaks might just come a bit too soon for her,” he said.
“But it will be in my mind, the dream’s alive.”
Heading towards the Crown Oaks Smerdon said he would run her in the $150,000 Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 22 to test her against better class with the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) back at the track on October 17 also on the radar.
“We will go to the (Thousand) Guineas prelude and test her against the class,” he said on Saturday.
“Today was only a benchmark race, so you have to step up to quality fillies at the trip and beyond, but we are hopeful she can measure up.”
In the pre-nomination Thousand Guineas odds at the Aussie bookmakers Bloomingdale Miss pays around $51, markets led by the John Thompson-trained Golden Rose betting favourite Nechita ($3.70).
Crown Oaks nominations for 2012 meanwhile will be taken by Racing Victoria on September 25 and published right here at Races.com.au.
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