While all nine juvenile horses that are set to run in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown Racecourse on Saturday have hopes of running in the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes in three weeks’ time, the race will be make or break for Thurlow.
Speaking candidly to TVN on Thursday morning, trainer Robert Smerdon revealed that two-year-old filly Thurlow will need to win the Chairman’s Stakes to remain a Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) contender.
“She would probably have to beat them if she’s going to win a Blue Diamond,” he said.
But Smerdon isn’t leaving anything to chance as Thurlow will wear blinkers for the first time in Saturday’s race, something the trainer is hopeful will give her a competitive edge against race favourite Prompt Return.
The Danny O’Brien colt is the $3.10 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au while Thurlow is on the second line of betting at $4.
Thurlow has previously raced in winkers but Smerdon believes they distracted the filly from her work so he’s adopting a new approach.
“She needs a companion to do a genuine piece of work; we thought the blinkers might just help her concentrate a bit more,” Smerdon said.
“I got a really good report from Craig Williams. He said she was a lot sharper than she was in her trial.
“She is forward enough, but I don’t know how she will measure up against O’Brien’s horse but she looks to be back to where she was in the spring.”
Thurlow debuted in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) during spring, in which she was a fast finishing runner-up to Antelucan, before winning the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) in a three-way photo finish.
The filly jumped away ok from barrier six but was out sped by her rivals. She got into some trouble at the 350 metre mark before getting into the clear. It took her a while to catch up with the leaders but nailed them on the line.
Craig Williams will retain the ride on Saturday as the filly jumps from the ideal second barrier.
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