Colin Little’s Group 2 winning mare Text’n Hurley will be given her shot up against the season’s best stayers as she targets a run in the Caulfield Cup 2014 this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A rising five-year-old daughter of Hard Spun, Text’n Hurley has progressed well so far winning five of her 12 starts and placing second or third in a further five of those runs.
She was last seen putting two and a half lengths on her closest rival Bippo No Bungus in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley back in March, an impressive and easy win after she came from last to first.
It was her victory there, and previous other indicators, that showed the Caulfield-based Little he could have a genuine stayer on his hands.
He has stepped her out over further than a mile just once before when she enjoyed a nice win over Crucial in a BenchMark 90 over 2040m at Moonee Valley against her fellow mares back in February.
He’s hoping then she can extend even further this time in as he eyes a shot at the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2040m) at her home track on October 18.
Little is still planning an exact Caulfield Cup path for Text’n Hurley but he has indicated he would like to take her down a similar lead-up that produced the Adelaide based mare Southern Speed for her 2011 Caulfield Cup success.
Early plans are to trial her early next month and then go first-up into the $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 9.
“I probably give her a trial at Cranbourne on the 4th of August and then think about running at Flemington on August 9 in the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m),” Little told Racing Victoria this week.
“Everything’s really good with her. She’s got a great attitude and a good temperament.”
He’s then looking at a couple of lead-up runs over 2000m before the step up to a mile and a half for the Cup, including an earlier elite level assignment in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse on October 4.
Southern Speed ran fourth to December Draw in that race leading into her Caulfield Cup triumph, an effort Little is hoping his mare can emulate.
“I’d be pretty keen to give her two 2000m races going into a Caulfield Cup,” he said.
“We do have a bit of faith in her getting a mile-and-a-half. We were always freshening her up in the past because the suitable black-type races for mares were over 1600.
“She relaxes beautifully and she doesn’t pull in her races and one of the main reasons we think that she’ll get a mile-and-a-half is her attitude.”
Futures Caulfield Cup betting markets are currently led by Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance at $13 while Text’n Hurley can be found at a more generous $34.
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