Trainer Robert Smerdon believes that Ungrateful Ellen will be at her peak when she contests the 2015 Ballarat Cup on Saturday.
Ungrateful Ellen started her 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an eighth place finish in the Bendigo Bank East Malven Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on September 19 and she finished fourth in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 before she was beaten as favourite in the Montague Tree Plate (2000m) at Caulfield on October 14.
The Grey Swallow mare was caught in the worst part of the track when she finished fourth behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 7 and Smerdon opted not to run the four-year-old in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Smerdon admits that the original plan was to run Ungrateful Ellen in the Zipping Classic, but he believes that she is better suited by the handicap conditions of the Ballarat Cup and he is confident that the talented mare is ready to return to winning form.
“Her program was designed around going to the Matriarch and then the Zipping Classic and while she ran well in the Matriarch and probably wasn’t in the best part of the track we decided to bypass the Zipping Classic and go to the Ballarat Cup,” Smerdon told Racing.com.
“I think she’s better suited under the handicap conditions of the race rather than at weight-for-age in the Zipping Classic and the distance is ideal for her.
“She went to Sandown last Saturday and had a maintenance gallop and worked really well so she goes there in good form and she can hold her form through a preparation so she’s probably at the peak of her preparation right at this point.
“She had the one flat run at Caulfield two starts ago where she did run fourth and wasn’t beaten far but it was still probably a bit disappointing but her first couple of runs were really good and her run in the Matriarch was good so I think she’s in good form.”
Ungrateful Ellen is set to step-up to 2400 metres for the first time during her 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but she showed her staying capabilities when she finished a very tough third behind Okahu Bay in the Group 3 South Australian Fillies Classic (2500m) at Morphettville on May 16 and second behind Winx in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on May 30.
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