Six-year-old mare Bonaria is dually nominated for the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington and the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill this Saturday.
Her trainer Pat Hyland has made the early decision to bypass the Group One race in favour of the 2015 Schweppervescence Trophy, believing the lack of travel will benefit the mare as she defends her title and chases a third consecutive win in the $150,000 race.
Bonaria is one of 19 fillies and mares nominated for the Flemington supporting race, leading the field ahead of the likes of Michael Kent’s Epingle, Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) runner-up Set Square, and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) winner Suavito.
If she lined-up in the 2015 Coolmore Classic, the six-year-old would carry the top weight alongside the likes of Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) winner First Seal and Clarry Conners’ Dear Demi.
A trip to Sydney could still be on the cards for Bonaria as she featured in the first acceptances for both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), which closed yesterday. The races run at Randwick on April 4 and 11 as part of The Championships series.
“It looks like a nice race for her at Flemington and you’ve got the bonus that you don’t have to travel,” Hyland told Racing Victoria.
“The Coolmore is at set weights and penalties which means she’d carry the top weight against a pretty good field.”
“She’s also got 51kg in the Doncaster so if they happened to get a wet track then that could also be an option for her.
“We’ve paid up for (the Queen Of The Turf and Doncaster Mile) and there’s also the possibility that we could go to Adelaide with her for a race like the Queen Of The South.”
Bonaria first won the Schweppervescence Trophy in March 2013 by half a length before defending her title last year by one length.
After winning the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at the end of spring, the mare has failed to win either of her two starts this campaign. She resumed in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) on February 14, running second to Tycoon Tara, before finishing outside the placings in the Group 3 Premier Signs Stakes (1400m).
“She was locked away at Caulfield the other day and the way that race was run just didn’t suit her style of racing,” Hyland explained.
“She’s proven at Flemington and I don’t think she’s run a bad race there to be honest.”
To back Bonaria to win her third straight Schweppervescence Trophy, open your Ladbrokes.com.au betting account today. New customers will receive up to $250 in a bonus match on their first bet.