Caulfield horseman Robert Smerdon will miss the Group 1 over the mile for fillies and mares at Flemington Racecourse this Derby Day and instead set his smart three-year-old My Poppette up for an autumn targeting longer features with a Wakeful Stakes 2015 run on Saturday.
The Snippetson filly is among the Victoria Derby Day nominations for a trio of support races on the Flemington card, which Ladbrokes.com.au is offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on this weekend, including the weight-for-age $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Smerdon won’t give her a chance at becoming the first three-year-old Myer Classic in history though, confirming her acceptance for the $300,000 Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) where she will carry the 57kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
He also threw in a nomination for the $200,000 Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), but will opt for the longer distanced assignment with an eye on her autumn return next year.
The Wakeful Stakes is the traditional lead-up into the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) run back at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on Thursday November 5.
Four of the past six Crown Oaks winners came out of the Wakeful Stakes and this year the current $3.20 favourite in all-in betting for Thursday week’s Group 1, Sacred Eye, will shoot for the double last achieved by Kirramosa in 2013.
The Wakeful however will be the final spring run of My Poppette who comes off an all-the-way Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m) win by nearly three lengths on Cox Plate Day last Saturday.
She is on the short turnaround and goes out over a mile for the first time, but Smerdon remains hopeful she can finish her prep with a win before coming back to target something like the $400,000 Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide next year.
“I suppose we are trying to find out whether she runs that trip, that’s the first thing,” he told Racenet.
“That is part of what happens going forward in the autumn.
“You don’t know whether they can back up in seven days until you try them and can she run 2000m? They are the two question marks hanging over her head.
“I suppose it’s just a matter of finding out.”
My Poppette is at a bit of a disadvantage weight-wise according to Smerdon, and will have Dwayne Dunn replacing the suspended Mark Zahra in the saddle on Saturday.
“At the weights, she’s not badly treated on ratings but she’s still got to give weight away,” he said.
My Poppette and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sacred Eye are joined in the Wakeful Stakes nominations by the likes of Clarry Conners’ last start Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) winner Dawnie Perfect and the John O’Shea-trained third in the same race Ambience.
The follow Sacred Eye and close $3.80 second pick Jameka, winner of the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) over the boys on Cox Plate Day, paying $7 and $7.50 respectively in Crown Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.
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