The now Sir Owen Glenn owned and raced mare Thunder Lady will target the 2015 Metropolitan Handicap this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival before a possible trip to Melbourne.
Thunder Lady, a four-year-old daughter of Mastercraftsman, returns to racing on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens on San Domenico Stakes Day in the $85,000 Spring Preview Handicap (1400m).
That will be her first run since a credible fifth on a Soft (7) Randwick track on April 11 during The Championships behind stablemate Gust Of Wind, who is set to return Saturday week, in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m).
The Oaks performance followed a strong autumn for Thunder Lady, the 2014 Crown Oaks runner-up also running third behind Fenway in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in late March.
She runs at Rosehill for the first time since the Group 1 place this weekend to kick off her season that is aimed at securing an elite level win of her own for her new connections.
To date Thunder Lady has had a dozen starts for just the one win, which was in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Victoria Derby Day in the start before the Crown Oaks second.
She’ll be out to break the drought first-up as she tracks towards the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) over the mile and a half at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 3.
“The plan with Thunder Lady is to head to the Metropolitan … and see where we go from there,” trainer John Sargent told AAP this week.
“She didn’t handle the wet track in the Oaks so it’s good to see a firm track [for Saturday].”
Originally raced by Hong Kong businessman Oliver Wong, the passing of her former owner saw Sir Owen Glenn step in and take over ownership of the $436,000 earner who he hopes can develop into a valuable broodmare – a date with his future stallion prospect Criterion already on the agenda.
Also returning on the weekend for Sargent is his 2013 Crown Oaks winner Kirramosa who is nominated for a BenchMark 90 handicap over 1200m first-up.
The five-year-old Alamosa mare hasn’t won a race since her Oaks success two years ago with injury setting her back in recent seasons, Kirramosa cracking her pedal bone pre-autumn.
Her latest campaign was in the spring last year, which ended with a disappointing 11th of 12 runners behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in October.
She trialled behind Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper winner Vancouver on July 31 over 840m at Randwick finishing fifth behind the star colt who resumes in Saturday’s Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m), and Sargent is keen to see her get back to her best form.
“She will get 60 kilos on Saturday so I will claim three kilos with Kayla Nisbet to ride,” Sargent said.
“It won’t be a big field and I think it’s a nice race for her.”
Gust Of Wind meanwhile will return on August 22 in the $175,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick with the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November her main aim.
“Gust Of Wind will wait a week,” Sargent said.
“She will stay all day and the Melbourne Cup is her aim.”
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