2016 Flight Stakes Target for Omei Sword

Chris Waller is weighing up first-up options for his Flight Stakes 2016 bound filly Omei Sword who may be saved for a later return despite her The Rosebud nomination for this Saturday.

Chris Waller

Chris Waller may bypass Saturday’s The Rosebud with his 2016 Flight Stakes hopeful Omei Sword. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The daughter of High Chaparral will debut as a three-year-old next run, but Waller isn’t convinced he’ll accept her for the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick this weekend.

The filly is one of a dozen early entries for the quality handicap three-years-old sprint, which serves as a traditional early lead-up to the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 10.

There are some other nice types among The Rosebud nominations, which were extended until 11am (AEST) on Tuesday morning, including Group 1 Champagne Stakes third placegetter Divine Prophet and the consistent Gai Waterhouse-trained improver Thronum.

Waller will wait to see the class of The Rosebud field before making a final call whether to kick off Omei Sword’s campaign this weekend as she prepares for a Grand Final in the $500,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) on Epsom Handicap Day, October 1.

“She’s ready to go to the races now,” Waller told AAP.

“I’ll look at the field and if I think it’s weaker than it could have been, she could run.

“She has come on since the autumn. She has had two trials and I’m happy with her.

“It’s a question of working out the best program heading to the Flight Stakes.”

The CC Lai-raced Omei Sword, who shares connections with Waller’s Group 1 winners Delectation, Grand Marshal and Good Project, has had three starts to date and won on debut over 1100m at Rosehill in late February before her close second to Calliope back at the track in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).

Her latest run was a ninth behind 2016 Golden Rose-bound filly Yankee Rose in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 2 during ‘The Championships’.

She has trialled twice in Sydney since including a second behind Russian Revolution over 1050m at Randwick on July 29.

Waller meanwhile has saddled up five previous Flight Stakes starters over the years for just the one second place finish, a record he’s hoping to improve on with Omei Sword this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

In it the filly could face off against the David Vandyke-trained Yankee Rose whose spring options remain open, but are targeted towards her getting a run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.

Vandyke has the Golden Rose scheduled for Yankee Rose’s first-up run where she’ll come up against Capitalist who beat her home by one when the duo ran the Golden Slipper quinella last season.

Yankee Rose pays $17 in the futures Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are set to firm with the release of nominations this Tuesday.

Waller prepares the defending Cox Plate champion and firm early favourite Winx who will resume in the $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 20.

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