She may be the clear cut favourite in the Chelmsford Stakes 2012 odds for this Saturday’s Warwick Farm showdown, but Randwick horseman Grahame Begg still needs to be convinced his class mare Secret Admirer is the one to beat.
One of nine gallopers set to face off in the $175,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) this weekend, Dubawi five-year-old Secret Admirer has opened top of the markets at a short $2.80 and firming to win the weight-for-age clash second up.
Winner of the Epsom Handicap around this time last year the mare hasn’t won a race since but has come close to Group 1 glory on a number of occasions having run four minor placings at elite level over the past 12 months.
On Saturday Secret Admirer is well supported to enter the winners’ stall again following her eye-catching second when beaten just half a length first-up by Pinwheel in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 25.
While the punters are behind her Secret Admirer still needs to impress her most important fan, Begg.
“I think she will run well but sometimes when they go as well as she did first-up, they don’t often come back and reproduce,” he said.
“It could be a bogey race for her.”
While confident in her abilities later in the spring, Begg believes the mile may be a little short of her best second-up.
“She is being aimed at longer races deeper in to the spring carnival and I wouldn’t be surprised if she just races a touch more dour second-up,” he said.
“Her coat isn’t quite there yet, she still has good improvement to come and I want her to be peaking in a month to six weeks.”
In an open market Secret Admirer’s main dangers in the Chelmsford Stakes on Saturday look to be David Vandyke’s Caulfield Cup hopeful Lamasery ($5.50), Somepin Anypin ($6.50) coming off a good first-up third in the Show County Quality behind Moment Of Change, and Peter Moody’s Group 1 winner Lights Of Heaven ($7).
Secret Admirer is also well liked in the futures markets to successfully defend her title in the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 6 sitting on the second line of betting at bookmaker.com.au paying $10 behind superstar More Joyous ($7).
She will then progress onto Melbourne, all going to plan, to target either the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 or the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley seven days later with a decision pending on which race will be her grand final.
“I’m still not decided whether we go to the Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate, the advantage of Caulfield is that she drops from weight-for-age … and is advantaged but the unknown is whether she can run a strong 2400m,” Begg said after Secret Admirer received 53kg in the Caulfield Cup weights this week.
Currently Secret Admirer pays a juicy $51 in the Caulfield Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au and is rated a $26 chance in the futures Cox Plate betting.
Following the Chelmsford Secret Admirer’s next race will be either in Sydney’s $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) or Melbourne’s $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), both events run on September 22, depending on how she performs over the mile this weekend.
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