John O’Shea’s Group 1 performing mare Steps In Time has caught the eye of Randwick clocker Craig Tompson this week ahead of her scheduled return to racing in Saturday’s 2013 Breeders Classic at Rosehill Gardens.
The Danehill Dancer five-year-old, last seen running eighth to Koonoomoo in the Group 3 Herald Sun Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, worked the house down in Sydney on Tuesday prompting Tompson to declare her a good thing for her first-up run.
Steps In Time was one of 10 nominees for the $175,000 Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) this year with other notable entries including the Chris Waller-trained Red Tracer and John Thompson’s Group 1 winner Pear Tart.
On Tuesday Steps In Time worked over 1000m on a heavy-rated course producing an excellent last furlong which had Tompson singing her praises.
“She’s going outstanding,” he said.
“She ran 1000 metres 1.08.0, her last 600 metres in 38.4 [seconds] and her last furlong in 11.2 seconds.”
“She trialled like she’d win the Oakleigh Plate and I’d say the way she trialled and has worked, she’s never gone better.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) runs at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 23, during the Melbourne Festival of Racing and could be put on the cards for Steps In Time if she comes back well in Sydney on Saturday.
She’s always had a nice affinity with the track at Randwick having posted her second Group race success there in the Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) in September last year.
She also won two 1050m trials there this summer firstly by three lengths in January and then by an even more impressive five on February 1, adding more fuel to Tompson’s fire.
O’Shea will also be represented at Rosehill on Saturday by More Than Ready colt Ashokan, third in the Golden Rose last September, in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) who also worked at Randwick this week.
“He worked very good and definitely looks a better horse this prep,” Tompson said having watched them gallop over 1000m in a time of 1.07.3, the last 200m completed in 11.6 seconds.
“He’d have to be a hope on Saturday.”
The 2013 Breeders Classic and Royal Sovereign Stakes final fields and barrier draws are due out on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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