Politeness has had a disrupted 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, but trainer Robert Smerdon believes that the talented mare is fresh enough to perform well in the 2015 Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield this weekend.
Politeness started her autumn preparation with a promising third place finish in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 14, but she has since been plagued by a foot injury and Smerdon was forced to put on hold plans to take the Street Sense mare to Sydney for the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
Smerdon has now changed the focus of Politeness and has set the four-year-old for the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 2, but believes that the talented mare can perform well in the Bel Esprit Stakes on Saturday.
“She went well first-up and she had a foot issue that kept putting her back,” Smerdon said.
“She would do a bit of work and be a bit ordinary the next day, so it just keeps holding us up.
“We had originally hoped to be in Sydney for the Coolmore and Queen Of Turf, but here we are back to a sprint trip.
“Her aim is to go to Adelaide in two weeks for the Sangster and she is still fresh enough and sharp enough to be competitive in this trip, but obviously we would have liked to get her out to 1600 by now.
“She is in a state where she can still be competitive over the 1100 tomorrow and the 1200 in two weeks’ time.
“I would love a bit of rain and that would help her chances no end.”
Politeness has been ridden as a get-back horse throughout her racing career to date and Smerdon admitted that was the only way to ride the four-year-old.
There does not appear to be a great deal of early speed in the Bel Esprit Stakes outside of Eloping and Smerdon believes that the lack of early speed could decrease the winning chances of Politeness.
“She is a horse that if she is too close she is not effective and she doesn’t finish,” Smerdon said.
“She has to be ridden off the speed and she will be midfield at the very best.
“If there is not much tempo it helps the leaders and disadvantages her for sure.”
Politeness is currently available at 2015 Bel Esprit Stakes odds of $9 and is on the fourth line of betting behind Gregers ($5), Sabatini ($6.50) and Runway Star ($7).
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