Warwick Farm trainer David Pfieffer believes the 1100m of next month’s Oakleigh Plate 2015 will be ideal for his consistent mare Atmospherical who is on a Group 1 mission this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
The four-year-old daughter of Northern Meteor was passed in for $36,000 at the 2012 William Inglis and Son Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale but has now amassed over $310,000 in prize money thanks to her six wins from 10 starts.
Atmospherical is also a dual stakes winner having taken out the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m) at Scone last May and most recently the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November.
Now Pfieffer is hoping she can make the next step during the autumn and break her Group maiden status, and possibly even her Group 1 duck.
He has started stepping her work up a notch in preparation for the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28, which he hopes she will be competitive in over what he rates her pet distance.
“I am convinced that 1000 metres, 1100 metres is her go so we will have a crack at the Oakleigh Plate while we can,” he told Racenet.
Oakleigh Girl will still be a well-weighted chance under the handicap conditions of the Oakleigh Plate, another plus in Pfieffer’s books.
“She is still down in the weights, and earned a trip with her convincing Dilmah win last campaign,” he said.
On Tuesday morning at Rosehill Gardens Atmospherical trialled in the sixth hit-out of the morning running fourth in the 900m, won by Tralfaz in 54.20 seconds.
Blake Shinn was aboard for the trial, the hoop having ridden her to victory at Rosehill over 1100m in late October, and was pleased with the mare’s performance.
“Blake was very happy with the trial,” Pfieffer said.
“He thinks she’s stronger than last campaign and I’d agree with that.
“She’s only lightly raced and this campaign should be her best.”
To kick off her latest prep Pfieffer has penciled in the $200,000 Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on CF Orr Stakes Day, February 14 as she follows the same autumn path as Mick Price’s ace sprinter Lankan Rupee last year.
Lankan Rupee won the Rubiton Stakes and Oakleigh Plate first and second up, going on to also secure the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and Sydney’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in April on a Heavy (9) track.
“We will kick-off her campaign at Caulfield in the Rubiton on February 14 and as long as she pleases us there, the Oakleigh Plate will be the target,” Pfieffer said.
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