A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
There’s a lot of water to pass under the bridge between now and October’s Thousand Guineas 2015 but Caulfield’s Robert Smerdon is keen to target the Group 1 with his classy filly Fontiton.
The young daughter of Turffontein is nearing her return to racing, rising three-year-old Fontiton having undergone surgery to remove bone chips from her off foreleg over the break, Smerdon welcoming her back into the stable shortly.
“She comes back into work next week,” he told Racenet on Monday.
“She’s had time to get over the surgery so she’ll go back to the Ballarat stable before going to Caulfield.”
A winner of three of her four starts to date the lightly-raced youngster was undefeated going into her latest race back in late February when she ran fifth as the beaten favourite behind Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Smerdon is now planning to target another age-specific Group 1 at Caulfield Racecourse this time in with Fontiton who could head towards the $500,000 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Caulfield Guineas Day in mid-October.
Smerdon has saddled-up five Thousand Guineas runners over the years for one second in the mile classic for three-year-old fillies, and hopes to see rain around the Victorian tracks as Fontiton works her way towards the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival feature.
“Her feet are her biggest trouble, they need a fair bit of maintenance,” Smerdon said.
“If she copes, she copes but she struggled a bit with her feet in the autumn.
“Softer tracks, the better for her and (2010 William Reid Stakes winner) Turffontein was the same, he improved a lot once it rained.”
This Monday Smerdon’s Ballarat base welcomed back into work a number of other ace carnival contenders including Turffontein filly Fontein Ruby, The Goodwood third placed stallion Under The Louvre and last start Group 3 winner in Adelaide The Bowler.
Another possible Thousand Guineas-bound filly this spring is Gold Coast-based Sagaronne.
Toby Edmonds’ daughter of Real Saga won a maiden two runs into her career at home on May 5 before taking out the Listed The Phoenix (1350m) at Doomben three weeks later and then crossing a brave second behind Press Statement in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) over the mile on June 6.
Showing rapid improvement very quickly in her first campaign there’s plenty to like about the up-and-comer who could head towards a Thousand Guineas and possibly even Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) run this spring.
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