Flemington trainer Michael Moroney said he wouldn’t swap his progressive filly Alaskan Rose for anything as the lightly-raced three-year-old continues to impress heading into next month’s 2015 Thousand Guineas.
The daughter of Encosta De Lago is one of a bumper 277 fillies still officially nominated for the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
One of the feature races on the Caulfield Guineas Day program at Caulfield Racecourse on October 10, the Thousand Guineas is a race Moroney has saddled up four previous runners in for just the one third place finish.
He hopes the up-and-coming Alaskan Rose can break his winning drought in the classic as she rises through the ranks.
Undefeated with back-to-back wins at Sandown-Hillside and Caulfield in August to kick off her career, her debut victory was by an impressive four and a half lengths while she also held a nice one and a quarter length margin over Giulietta last time out over 1400m in a Benchmark 78.
Moroney is thrilled with her progress since and confirmed plans to give her a hit-out this Friday before her next run.
“She’s come through very well, eating very well,” he told Racing Victoria.
“We’re going to give her a jump out Friday and then it’s a fortnight more or less until the next race at Caulfield.
“She keeps improving … and has held her condition really good I think she’s going the right way.”
That next race at Caulfield is the $200,000 Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) on Underwood Stakes Day, September 26, which produced last year’s Thousand Guineas winner Amicus (2nd).
Having taken that next step with her Memsie Stakes Day success, Alaskan Rose firmed into third pick in the futures Thousand Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
She was at $15 pre-win and is now at an equal price with the Gai Waterhouse-trained triple Group 2 winner Speak Fondly paying $9 in Thousand Guineas betting.
Northern Meteor filly Speak Fondly is the only female galloper taking on the boys in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in Sydney this Saturday and has won her past two on the trot at Randwick taking out the Silver Shadow Stakes – Furious Stakes double ahead.
Leading the all-in Thousand Guineas odds is the Peter Moody-trained Group 1 winner Pasadena Girl ($7) who took out the Champagne Stakes over the Randwick mile as a two-year-old and who was last seen running second to Stay With Me, the $8 second elect for the Thousand Guineas, in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Stay With Me for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig is one of the fillies Moroney admits to having his eye on along with Phillip Stokes’ visiting Adelaide raider Miss Gunpowder.
“There was a couple of good ones (fillies) that come out on Saturday … and they should have improvement in them so it should make for a really good race,” he said.
“Probably four or five fillies there’s even one in Adelaide that’s had the form here as well … so it’s going to be interesting when they all clash.”
That said, for now Moroney is more than happy with having Alaskan Rose as his Thousand Guineas hope.
“I wouldn’t swap her for anything,” he said.
2015 Thousand Guineas first acceptances close at midday today, Tuesday, September 8.
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