A strong and consistent performer through the 2014 autumn, trainer David Hayes is confident a drop in class for this afternoon’s Australian Defence Force Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield is precisely what is needed for Gregers to begin her Spring Racing Carnival in winning fashion.
Failing to finish worse than fourth over five autumn starts, Gregers has not contested a non-black type race since charging home to win a three-year-old fillies race over 1200m at Moonee Valley in August last year.
Pleased with the way the daughter of Commands has taken to her time in the paddock and return to work, Hayes said he will play it conservatively with Gregers this time in, but is confident all signs point towards a first-up victory at Caulfield this afternoon.
“She’ll appreciate being back in mares’ grade,” Hayes told Racing Victoria on Friday.
“With the claim she comes in well and I just want her to have a confidence building win. She went through the autumn and, while she didn’t win, she raced really well in the Group 1s she ran in.
“She starts single-figures in a Group 1 when she runs, so she’s probably entitled to be short tomorrow.
“If she doesn’t win I’ll place her to win again. I’ll be conservative, but if she wins and wins well we might go deep.
“I would say a race like the Sir Rupert Clarke wouldn’t be out her reach. It’s a handicap, she’d have no weight and hard-fit she’d be hard to beat.”
Resuming this year with a hard-fought run for fourth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 22nd, Gregers was unlucky to finish second by a short nose to Anatina in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1100m) on March 8th before running on for fourth in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later.
Travelling to South Australia for the state’s headline sprints, the mare out of Satnav finished third to Driefontein in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) on April 26th and was last seen running in for fourth in The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10th.
The clear pick in a field of ten for the Australian Defence Force Handicap this afternoon, Gregers has so-far received the greatest market share of wagers for success first-up and currently features as clear $2.20 favourite and market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sign up and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au now to claim a bonus bet of up to $250 in time for Gregers’ racing return!