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Having saddled talented filly Mosheen to success in the Flemington feature in 2012, trainer Robert Smerdon is capable Fontein Ruby is more than capable of good performance against classy competition in Saturday’s featured Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Posting four wins and a further five minor place finishes from her 14 competitive appearances on course so far, Fontein Ruby returned to racing this year for a credible third in Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) on February 14th; progressing to a close second behind Sabatini in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last weekend
Thrilled with the form and class displayed by the daughter of Turffontein in work this week, Smerdon told Racing Ahead he is confident the conditions of the 2015 Australian Guineas will play into Fontein Ruby’s strengths on Saturday.
“She’s beaten the boys and Group level in the spring,” Smerdon said.
“Her two runs this time in have both been solid and everything you could hope for.
“She’s a better horse at Flemington, she’s a better horse at 1600m and she’s drawn a gate so she gets her chance.
“I think the boys there are going to be tough to beat; it’s not an easy ask but she’s in really good shape and she’s capable of producing as good as she can go.”
Smerdon is confident early pace is the key to success with Fontein Ruby, and said he will instruct jockey Chad Schofield to find a position towards the front of the field in the Australian Guineas.
“I think you’ve got to sort of roll forward on her,” he said.
“You try and ride her a race and she just wants to fight you and it ends up being counter-productive.
“She does tend to get a flat spot when they do quicken down so we’ll be fairly positive from the start and I’d like to see her nearly the leader I guess.”
Finding exceptional form for Smerdon over the 2014 Spring Carnival, Fontein Ruby took out each of the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) most notably, but was seemingly unable to get the distance when failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 6th.
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