Two-year-old filly Thurlow will have another gear change as trainer Robert Smerdon pulls out all the stops in his bid to win the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28.
Thurlow wore winkers at her first two starts, which included running second in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) on debut before winning the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).
After an ordinary trial on her resumption in January, Smerdon opted to run the filly in blinkers for the first time during the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on February 7. The gear change was a success as Thurlow challenged strongly at the 200m before hitting the front with 100m to go and winning with something in hand, half a length ahead of Haybah and Brooklyn.
Smerdon and hoop Craig Williams decided to switch gears again for the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes after she won an 800-metre jump-out at Sandown on Tuesday morning.
Thurlow’s blinkers will be replaced by a visor when she tackles the $1 million juvenile race in two weeks.
“Going to the 1200 (metres) I put it all back on Craig and we’ll go back to visors, which are modified blinkers and have peripheral vision,” Smerdon told Sky Racing.
“She’s thrived since her win, the jump-out was good, her action was good and she’s earned her place in the field.”
Thurlow is a $17 hopeful in the Blue Diamond futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au. Smerdon also trains the $2.50 favourite Fontiton.
The unbeaten filly has come through her Group 2 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) victory last Saturday really well and is set to have a course proper gallop at Caulfield next week to finish her preparations.
“We probably just do some slow work and some swimming apart from the one gallop,” Smerdon said.
“It’s easy to train them hard but it’s hard to train them easy.”
With two classy fillies to saddle in the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes, Smerdon is well-tipped to find success in the $1 million juvenile feature race.
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