Trainer Paul Banks has sent smart filly Sweet Sherry to the Flemington stables of Leon & Troy Corstens ahead of her 2016 Thousand Guineas spring campaign this season.
Banks has taken over Brent Stanley’s Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds venture and is hoping the move from Sutton Grange in country Victoria to the big city will help put a spring in the step of the rising three-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit for owner Steve Gillard.
“Just to be fair to Steve Gillard and, most importantly, the horse, we just felt that a change of environment (was needed),” Banks told Racing Victoria.
“The horse came back in close to 60kg heavier and she’s got a laidback attitude so she probably needed a bit of white-rail activity.
“We tried to get some city boxes but of course, they’re pretty rare.
“So we decided, in discussions with Steve, to transfer the horse to Leon and Troy Corstens so they’ll take control as of now.
“You’ve got to be fair to the horse and fair to the owner, and that’s what we’ve done.”
She has had five runs as a juvenile for just the one win, showing her class with a half-length victory in Flemington’s Listed Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) last October.
Sweet Sherry has failed to finish in the money since with a subsequent four unplaced runs, but has twice been tested in the highest company.
In late February she placed sixth behind the Mick Price-trained Extreme Choice at Caulfield in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Then on March 19 she jumped a $151 roughie in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), and finished under four lengths away seventh to Peter & Paul Snowden’s champ Capitalist at Rosehill Gardens.
Now the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival riches are calling with connections keen to set her towards the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) over the mile at Caulfield on October 8.
Her new co-trainer Leon Corstens prepared the 2012 Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel a few years back and could chose the same lead-up run for Sweet Sherry this year in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) the week prior to the Group 1.
The other traditional Thousand Guineas lead-up is held on September 24 with the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) on Underwood Stakes Day, which has produced the past two winners with Amicus (2nd in 2014) and Stay With Me (6th in 2015).
David Vandyke’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly Yankee Rose is early favourite in all-in Thousand Guineas odds at bookmakers around the country.
Sweet Sherry meanwhile is further down the pre-nomination Thousand Guineas betting markets at around $41 to score the upset.
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