Flemington’s Danny O’Brien has confirmed first-up plans to run his Group 2 winning mare Miss Rose De Lago in next month’s 2016 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse.
The rising six-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago was last seen running a distant ninth when outclassed by Azkadella in Randwick’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in early April.
Before that she posted her eighth career win at Moonee Valley, relishing the tight Melbourne track to take out the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) by nearly three lengths.
She is set to run first-up on August 13 in the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse where her last start was a third in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) in late February, also won the Ciaron Maher-trained Azkadellia.
The former Perth-trained mare had her debut run in Victoria in May last year for a 1200m Caulfield win and was impressive over her spring campaign that culminated with a victory in the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) on Caulfield Cup Day.
She’ll be tested in tougher company this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, starting with the P.B. Lawrence Stakes that is also on the agenda first-up for The Cleaner.
Miss Rose De Lago stepped up her work on Monday at Pakenham on the polytrack over 1000m with a smart 1000m jumpout, Damien Oliver aboard for a three length victory over stablemate Paco Express.
“We’re probably going to run her against the boys earlier in the spring, she’s not a mare that’s going to perform below a mile (1600m) or 1400m first up,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria.
“We’ll get a fair indication of where we’re headed with her after the first couple of runs but there’s obviously plenty of mares targets for her later in the spring like the Myer Classic.
“She went really well this morning and she’s been going really well in her work at home.
“She just came here for a day out today but she’s a super-competitive mare and she’s always going to show you something when you get her out of the gates and she showed her class this morning.
“Damien was very pleased and gave me a really good report on how she went. The polytrack is a really good surface and she appreciated it.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) runs at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 29, which kicks off the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
A former Tassie-trained superstar, veteran Savoire Vivre gelding The Cleaner meanwhile will debut for his new trainer Peter Gelagotis in the Lawrence Stakes after connections took the $1.33 million earner off Mick Burles.
The Cleaner was runner-up to Mourinho in last year’s PB Lawrence Stakes before his Moonee Valley win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
He also won the 2014 edition of the same race and will target an historical third Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes victory this season on September 3 in the $250,000 mile feature, which is also on the cards for Miss Rose De Lago.
The Cleaner impressed in a Monday trial win at Cranbourne ahead if his return, the popular warhorse thriving on the synthetic track over 1000m with jockey Steven Arnold in the saddle.
He flew home by a runaway six lengths ahead of runner-up, SA Derby champ Escado, in a smart 1:01.18 seconds.
Arnold was thrilled with the trial performance, The Cleaner’s fitness and enthusiasm for racing despite being a rising nine-year-old.
“He felt really good. I had a sit on him a couple of weeks ago in a jumpout and he’s taken another step today,” Arnold said.
“His fitness has improved, he’s really sound in his action and cornered really well. For the stage in his preparation that he’s at, I’m really happy with him.
“The main thing is his action felt perfect today and he still has that enthusiasm for racing. He jumped out and travelled along nicely and wanted to hit the line strongly.
“I suppose the fact that he’s sound and his enthusiasm’s still there, they’re the main two things you worry about when a horse is getting older and they don’t seem to be a worry so I can’t see why he won’t race well.”
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