Caulfield’s Mick Price is considering throwing his smart mare Badawiya in the deep-end first-up with a Group 1 run in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2016 late next month.
Price originally had the mares’ only $200,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10 scheduled as the Badawiya’s four-year-old debut.
He is now tempted to save the Al Maher fare until September 24 and race her against a tougher Caulfield line-up in the $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) where she’ll have the home ground advantage.
“Last preparation as an autumn three-year-old she was really impressive first-up and she’s a bit of a first-up sort of a horse,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“I’ve got a bit of an idea that I’ll run her in the Rupert Clarke under handicap conditions on her home track.”
Price has saddled-up 10 previous Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes runners, but is yet to run top three in the handicap.
Badawiya has had 11 career starts to date including four wins, the latest being at Flemington on March 12 in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m).
That first-up run saw her enjoy a strong two and a quarter-length victory and followed on from a big spring campaign that culminated with her third to Stay With Me at Caulfield in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Before the Thousand Guineas Badawiya enjoyed her first Black-Type victory taking out the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington by two lengths, proving her ability over a mile.
She didn’t step-up later in the autumn last time in however and was outclassed at Randwick in April when a mid-field seventh to Azkadellia in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
Her last start was at Morphettville in Adelaide on May 7 when 11th to Precious Gem in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m), beaten four and a half-lengths over the spring distance from a wide barrier (15 of 20).
Four-year-olds have dominated the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes results in recent history winning the past six straight editions.
The last mare to win meanwhile was Response (2010) who came off a lead-up run earlier in the month when third in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington.
No Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner has taken out the race first-up since the Michael Moroney-trained Pernod (2002) whose last run was a fifth in that year’s Stradbroke Handicap from the winter in Brisbane.
Badawiya was down to take part in a Caulfield jumpout on Tuesday morning after the Cranbourne trials on Monday were washed out.
Price also has a host of spring hopefuls nominated across the Caulfield card on Saturday including his Victoria Derby – Rosehill Guineas winning Tavistock stallion Tarzino in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
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