Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
David Hayes & Tom Dabernig have decided to keep three-year-old filly Afleet Esprit in sprint races during the autumn after her disappointing run over the mile in the spring.
The classy filly won three consecutive starts early in the season, starting with the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m).
She then won the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 28, which set her up as second favourite heading to the Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) a fortnight later. She was even set to get the ideal start from barrier one.
However the filly ended up midfield on the fence following her jump before going for the rails run. It was all for naught in the end, Afleet Esprit finished four and a half lengths behind winner Amicus in second last place.
Afleet Esprit’s spring campaign ended there and when the filly recently returned to light work, Hayes revealed she would be kept to a sprinting program during the 2015 autumn carnival.
He told Racing Victoria that the filly is better suited over shorter trips and will not contest any Group Ones over the mile for the time being.
“We’re going to make her a sprinter in the autumn,” Hayes said.
“That’s the best time of the year for sprinters.”
Afleep Esprit has already proven a promising sprinter. She won the Simpson Construction Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 23 and finished runner-up in a benchmark 78 over 1000m a fortnight ealier.
Hayes noted that the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), running at Caulfield on February 28, is a possible autumn target for Afleet Esprit.
The filly headed straight to the spelling paddock after her 2014 Thousand Guineas run. She has appreciated the break.
“She looks great,” Hayes said.
“She had a bit better break because she went out straight after the Guineas, so she had more time off.”
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