Flemington horseman John Sadler needs his promising mare Vain Queen to win at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend to warrant taking her north to Brisbane for a shot at the 2014 Tattersall’s Tiara next month.
A Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign beckons the four-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller with Sadler eyeing off a run for Vain Queen in the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.
Having won four of her five starts to date she’s showing all the right stuff to suggest she’s capable of a Group 1 appearance.
However she’s yet to be tested at stakes level, or over further than 1200m, and so still has to prove herself.
“She’s a Brisbane candidate but it will all depend on her next run,” Sadler told AAP.
“She needs to win and win well next Saturday to go to Brisbane.”
She also must atone for her maiden career loss last time out when returning off a 34 week spell to finish a distant fourth as the beaten favourite at Sandown on April 26.
“Terribly disappointing,” was how Sadler described the loss.
Vain Queen pulled up with the thumps after that defeat and Sadler gives her the chance to bounce back this weekend at Caulfield in an $80,000 Mares Handicap (1100m).
“She pulled up with the thumps last start. She’s been treated for it,” he said of the ailment that causes labored breathing.
“I haven’t had that many horses pull up with the thumps but the ones that I have, have never raced well.
“How much effect that had on her, I’m guessing. But I’m hoping that was the reason for her poor performance.
“If it wasn’t we’re in trouble.”
Things were looking more positive on Sunday morning however when the mare put in a nice piece of work.
“She had a very solid hit-out yesterday morning and went well,” Sadler said on Monday.
Nominations and weights for Saturday’s showdown are led by Robert Smerdon’s Elite Elle (60kg), the Shamardal mare coming off a fourth at the track behind Pago Rock from April 19.
Vain Queen meanwhile is the second heaviest weighted runner with 58kg.
That’s a drop back from her allocated weight of 59.5kg last start, however she carried only 57.5kg thanks to the apprentice claim of Price’s son Thomas Sadler who has the ride again this weekend.
Other notable nominees for the race include the Mick Price-trained Halle Rocks coming off a ninth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide and in-form local Pixie Eyes shooting for her third on the trot.
If Vain Queen does turn things back on and wins this weekend, Sadler has penciled in the $200,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Queensland Oaks Day for her Tatt’s Tiara lead-up on May 31.
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