Kristen Buchanan’s smart mare Two Blue will step up in class this Friday for their first stakes assignment in Gosford’s 2014 Belle Of The Turf Stakes.
Just last Saturday the five-year-old daughter of Dubleo handed their Wyong-based trainer her first Saturday metropolitan win taking out the $85,000 De Bortoli Wines Benchmark 80 Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill.
Now they’ll shoot for their own and their trainer’s maiden black type victory when they take on a field of their own kind in the $125,000 Group 3 Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on Gosford Cup Day.
Buchanan’s first city winner came at Randwick at the end of November when she ran a quinella with Lucky News and Two Blue who went on to win last weekend.
One of 15 early entries for the feature, Two Blue has won five of her 21 starts to date.
She’s been in flying form this prep especially earning her Belle Of The Turf assignment after running top two in her five most recent starts around Sydney.
After three close calls when runner-up in a trio of city starts from November 29 to December 21, Two Blue finally got home first on January 4 with an impressive all-the-way performance and will look to go back-to-back here.
While she faces just a six day turnaround if accepted for Friday, Two Blue has handled an eight day turnaround earlier this summer and looks to have come through her weekend win in top order.
“She has pulled up really well from Saturday and the quick back-up is not a concern with her,” Buchanan, who has been based at Wyong for four years following her start in the business in Perth with trainer Neville Parnham, told The Daily Telegraph.
“I ride her in work and she usually goes ferociously hard in her gallops to have two races in a week will probably help her settle better.”
The Gosford event will also be her first look at a mile, a distance Buchanan is hoping she’ll appreciate the distance after her winning half length effort over 1500m when stepped up to that for the first time last start.
“I’ll just wait and see how she is,” Buchanan said to AAP at the start of the week.
“She earned a reputation as a wet tracker but she is racing so well on these firm tracks she has earned a chance at a race like this.”
Among her most notable rivals for Friday based on the Belle Of The Turf Stakes nominations are the likes of the reigning winner Cathay Lady, the Chris Waller-trained Boxing Day winner Acapela and the 59kg top weight Babel who was runner-up in the race back in 2012.
The Gosford race fields for Friday are due out on Wednesday so make sure you stay tuned to Races.com.au.
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