Smerdon Keeping Thurlow Options Open Following 2015 Chairman’s Stakes

Robert Smerdon will have a better understanding of Thurlow’s autumn campaign following her run in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Saturday.

Thurlow (outside) may miss the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes in favour of easier targets.

Thurlow (outside) may miss the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes in favour of easier targets. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

While the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is a possibility for the filly, Smerdon would rather target her towards an easier race considering stable mate Fontiton is the $5 second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.

“She trialled OK last week at Cranbourne and Saturday’s run will tell us where we sit,” Smerdon told Sky Racing.

“Whether she’s good enough (for the Blue Diamond), I don’t know.

“Things can change, circumstances like track conditions and barriers, but Fontiton has always been the superior of the two.

“So based on that she might be better going for an easier target.”

The trainer admits the unbeaten Fontiton is the better juvenile and would rather focus his Blue Diamond attention entirely on her.

Thurlow is one of 29 two-year-olds nominated for the 2015 Chairman’s Stakes, which includes Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) winner Prompt Return, John O’Shea’s Bantam, and Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) runner-up Haybah.

However the 29 will be cut down to 16 plus four emergencies later this morning.

Thurlow debuted last spring in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, finishing second to Antelucan. The filly then went on to win the Listed Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) 11 days later.

She will gallop on the course proper at Sandown today before resuming in the Chairman’s Stakes, which in turn will determine her upcoming starts.

Smerdon suggested the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) for two-year-old fillies at Flemington on March 14 as a potential second-up race.

Fontiton enjoyed a gallop at Caulfield yesterday ahead of the Group 2 Blue Diamond fillies Prelude (1100m) next week. The filly sat off the speed before running home well for a close second to Stylish Assassin.

“We haven’t got a lot of Blue Diamond horses left (in contention), but she is a good one,” Price said.

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