Four-year-old Arabian Gold will be nominated for the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 but the grey mare isn’t a certain starter for the $150,000 race.
The Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14 is the main autumn target for Arabian Gold, and trainer David Vandyke has no hesitation keeping the mare fresh until then and simply resuming her straight into the $600,000 feature race.
Arabian Gold won the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) first-up during the spring and the trainer is confident of her chances at a repeat performance.
“She showed last preparation that she can perform at the highest level when fresh and I think a big reason why she raced so well was her mental state,” Vandyke told Sky Racing.
“She was a very happy horse going in to the Golden Pendant, that was 1400m and she was able to beat Catkins.”
The grey mare impressed in a barrier trial at Randwick on Tuesday morning, winning in a time of 1 minute 11.10 seconds. Partnered with jockey Kerrin McEvoy, the pair sat off the pace and worked to the line strongly to win.
Should Vandyke opt to run Arabian Gold first-up in the 2015 Coolmore Classic, the mare will be prepared for the race at home.
“The Coolmore is the target and I want her to be at her peak on that day, whether that means she will have a run before hand will be decided in the next week,” Vandyke said.
“I can get her fit enough at home, she doesn’t need to race for fitness, I just want to make sure she is in the right frame of mind.”
Arabian Gold has won nine of her 20 career starts, including four last year. The mare got off to a rough start during the autumn, finishing outside the placings in her first three tilts, before winning both the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 Frank Packer Stakes (2000m) by one and a quarter lengths.
The mare then travelled straight to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival, winning the Group 2 Gold The Roses Stakes (2000m) before finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m).
After a three month spell, Arabian Gold resumed in the Golden Pendant, winning half a length ahead of Catkins, before finishing second last in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Still in search of a Group One victory for the mare, Vandyke has nominated Arabian Gold in three races during The Championships in April – the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
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