Local Caulfield horseman Robert Smerdon gave his Group 1 performed mare Politeness a quiet but telling workout at her home track on Tuesday ahead of her highly anticipated return at the same course in Saturday’s 2015 How Now Stakes.
A multiple Group winning daughter of Street Sense, Politeness is set to make her five-year-old debut at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend running first-up in the mares-only $150,000 Group 3 William Hill Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m) – formerly known as the How Now Stakes.
She has won two of her six previous resuming runs over a 23-start career and shoots for her first win since taking out the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m), also run at Caulfield, first-up back in April.
Since then she’s failed to finish better than sixth and was most recently seen rounding out a soft campaign at the Gold Coast on June 20 when a disappointing 10th behind the Ciaron Maher-trained Srikandi in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
Smerdon gave her an official Cranbourne trial over 990m in the wet last Friday where Politeness ran second to Turfane, and put her through her paces again yesterday before her How Now assignment where Mark Zahra will take the ride.
“Her trial meant she didn’t do a lot this morning but she worked over five furlongs (1000m) and ran home her last two (400m) on the bit,” Smerdon told Racenet on Tuesday.
“We didn’t think she needed a tough morning because she’s a fresh horse anyway.
“She trialled really well at Cranbourne so she’s going the right way towards her first-up run.”
Smerdon is happy with the compressed weight scale in the set weights plus penalties showdown where his mare will carry 57kg, a full kilo under the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Hazard who comes off a Cockram Stakes second.
“It should suit Politeness because she’s won two Group III races and a Listed race,” he said.
“The weights have actually worked out pretty well for that top end (in the ratings) because there’s not much between them.”
Politeness also kicked off her Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign last season in the same race crossing under half a length away fourth behind Girl Guide in a blanket finish.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained reigning How Now Stakes winner Girl Guide is nominated to defend her title this weekend after a first-up eighth when under two lengths off Madam Gangster in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) on Memsie Stakes Day, August 29.
Hayes & Dabernig could also be represented by Miss Promiscuity in their bid at back-to-back How Now Stakes titles, the in-form Magnus five-year-old having won the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) in early July before a third last time out to Bounding in the Group 3 The Heath (1100m).
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