Mornington horseman Jason Warren has confirmed Saturday’s 2016 Frank Packer Plate at Royal Randwick on Saturday as the next-up run for his in-form filly Zasorceress.
The nicely-bred daughter of Zabeel remains a maiden after six career runs, something Warren hopes to change on All Aged Stakes Day in the $150,000 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
A total of 16 three-year-olds make up the nominations for the set weights clash this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival including six fillies out to take on the boys.
Among the female gallopers is Zasorceress who comes off her first black-type assignment and her first Sydney run in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) from April 2.
In the Doncaster Mile Day clash she went out as a $21 outsider in betting and caught the eye running just over a length away third behind the winner Diamond Made after leading early only to be run down late.
Warren has Zasorceress backing up a fortnight later over the same track and distance in the Frank Packer Plate after she failed to gain a start in last Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
She was first emergency in the mile and a half classic for fillies on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’, but without a scratching she was ruled out of the Oaks won by New Zealand visitor Sofia Rosa.
That could prove a blessing in disguise according to Warren, who believes her chances of winning this weekend are far higher and could still lead Zasorceress to a Group 1 run this time in.
“It was disappointing she didn’t get a run in the Oaks, but it was a high-class race and it’s probably worked out better,” he told AAP.
“Providing she gets a run this Saturday she’s not going to run into any horses that have proven themselves at Group 1 level, you wouldn’t think.
“The Frank Packer Plate was always our back-up, being a Group 3 race.
“We’ll have to assess how she goes and then decide if we give her a little let-up and go to Brisbane or we put her on a plane and fly to Adelaide and run in the Australasian Oaks in three weeks.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) runs at Morphettville Racecourse on May 7 during the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival, the same Saturday the sprinting fillies and mares face off in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).
The last filly to win the Australasian Oaks straight off a Sydney run was the David Hayes-trained Anamato in 2007 whose lead-up was a 12th in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
If not the Australasian Oaks, the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) runs over the 400m further at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 4 during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“We really need her to do something this weekend to ensure she gets a run wherever we go,” Warren said, Zasorceress having amassed only $25,910 in prize money to date.
“Even though she was stakes placed the other day, she’s still a maiden and she needs to get a bit more money in the bank.
“She has just got herself into a bit of trouble in the shorter races, and all the maidens she started in were pretty strong maidens.
“She had shown enough to think the further the races got the better she would get, and we were right.”
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