Team Hawkes will leave it up until the final minute to decide whether to run their Golden Rose hopeful Lady Sharapova at Canterbury’s mid-week meeting today or save her for a run in the 2014 The Rosebud on Saturday.
The Fastnet Rock filly is accepted in Canterbury Race 3 this afternoon, the $40,000 Theraces.com.au Handicap (1250m) but is also a nominee for the weekend’s $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
Ambitious Sydney Spring Racing Carnival plans for the up-and-comer are for her to progress to next month’s $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on the 13th at Rosehill Gardens.
There’s a long way to go over the following month however with Lady Sharapova a $61 outside in futures Golden Rose betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
She will get a chance to improve that price with a win this week, but where she will run is still up in the air.
A decision will be made later this morning by her training team Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes.
“She’s accepted for Wednesday and we’ll just decide whether we run on Wednesday or Saturday,” Michael Hawkes told The Age on Monday.
“We’ll leave it until as late as we can, but she’s done super in the break.”
The expensive $800,000 yearling buy from last year’s William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Sales caught the eye first-up in mid-February racing third behind Marcado in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m).
She then raced 42 days later in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) but finished out of the money when sixth behind the Peter Moody-trained Bring Me The Maid.
The Magic Night was run on a Heavy (8) track and Lady Sharapova failed to let down on the surface and didn’t have the sprint to finish off in the race, the winner of which went on to run third in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m).
The Hawkes trialed Lady Sharapova on July 21 at Rosehill over 900m and she looked to have come through her break well when a close second to Occitan in the clash when ridden by James McDonald.
McDonald is engaged for her Wednesday start at Canterbury where, if she runs, she will carry the 58kg second top weight behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Twirl.
It will be a tougher class of rivals though if she’s saved for The Rosebud, nominations for which feature the returning John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo who is a $9 fancy for the Golden Rose through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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