Caulfield horseman Robert Smerdon could save the spring return of his classy filly Fontiton until early October with the Moir Stakes 2015 given consideration as a first-up run for the Group 2 winner.
A three-year-old daughter of Turffontein, Fontiton hasn’t raced since her fifth when beaten three and a half lengths by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Pride Of Dubai, second favourite for the 2015 Golden Rose on September 12 in Sydney and the Caulfield Guineas on October 10 this season, in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at her local track in late February.
Before that the filly was undefeated with a hat-trick of Melbourne wins going back to her successful debut at Moonee Valley in the Inglis Banner over 1000m last October that she won by an easy six lengths.
She returned in January and won the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) at Sandown-Hillside and then kept her record intact with a victory in the Group 2 Prelude for the same series at Caulfield in mid-February.
After the Group 1 fifth as the beaten Blue Diamond Stakes favourite, Fontiton underwent surgery to remove bone chips in a fetlock and then spelled to recover ahead of a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bid that Smerdon is now plotting.
He is looking at a returning run on Friday October 2 under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse in the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m), a short distance feature won last spring by the Robert Heathcote-trained Brisbane sprint star Buffering.
Connections are keen to keep the filly to a sprint campaign this time in and opted not to nominate her for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) over the Caulfield mile on October 10.
“We’re thinking about the Moir,” Smerdon told Racenet this week.
“We didn’t nominate her for the Thousand Guineas and we’re going to keep her to sprinting.”
After the Moir Stakes mission obvious next-up targets for Fontiton include the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) back at the track on October 23, the evening before Cox Plate Day, and the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31 – Victoria Derby Day.
“She’ll head towards the Coolmore Stud Stakes,” Smerdon confirmed.
The 2015 Coolmore Stud Stakes is already shaping up as a hot showdown between the season’s best three-year-old sprinters and takes place on the opening meeting of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Smerdon is also planning the spring preparation of his Sebring filly Thurlow who returns to racing at Caulfield on PB Lawrence Stakes Day this Saturday in the $150,000 Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m).
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