A relaxed demeanor resulted in a tidy trial win at Cranbourne on Thursday morning for the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontein Ruby who impressed jockey Mark Zahra.
Zahra was extremely pleased with the performance in the first hit-out of the morning from the Turffontein filly who switched off beautifully in the New Zealand Bloodstock 2YO & Up Trial over 990m.
Having ruined her chances of success by over-racing in her final two runs of the spring including her dead last when 12th to Set Square in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 6, Fontein Ruby was far more relaxed in her first official trial this morning.
Zahra got her to settle without a fight and she ran home to defeat the Pat Carey-trained five-year-old gelding Solomon’s Song by one and a quarter lengths, a win the hoop credits to the addition of a cross over nose band.
“She trialled really good,” Zahra told TVN.
“She travelled more sweetly in the run. She was able to relax, keep flowing and give a good kick.
“If we can get her to switch off, stop her from being so angry and conserve all that energy it is only going to help her.”
Fontein Ruby’s Group 1 performed Group 3 winning stablemate Politeness was then a nose further away for third also pleasing in her first hit-out ahead of the autumn.
A winner of four of her 12 starts, Fontein Ruby is a dual Group winner having taken out the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and then the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) last October.
Her campaign came undone then when she missed out on a place in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) when sixth to Thunder Lady and then her Crown Oaks failure where she over-raced after an awkward jump and dropped right out of contention after suffering respiratory issues.
Looking a far better racehorse in her Cranbourne trial this week, Smerdon is looking at a first-up run for her in the $150,000 Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 14 during the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
There’s also a chance she’ll progress onto the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 7 before a trip north for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Also Sydney bound, Smerdon’s Street Sense four-year-old Politeness is set to resume in the Group 3 Geoffrey Belmaine Stakes (1200m) on the same day as the Kevin Hayes Stakes.
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