The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Any lingering sadness David Payne feels over the loss of Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) runner-up Criterion from his stables will need to be pushed aside this weekend so he can focus on the future.
Payne will have three horses running this Saturday, which needs his undivided attention. Lilliburlero, who won the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) in February, is one of them.
The five-year-old mare is set to run in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens against a potential field size of 13 talented sprinters.
Lilliburlero had a late start to her campaign, running in the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) first up on Crown Oaks Day at Flemington earlier this month. Despite jumping awkwardly from barrier 12, the mare galloped on to finish in third place.
Goldstone also featured in the 2014 Starlight Stakes nominations for Payne but will run in either Brisbane or Melbourne instead due to the strong competition.
“I think the Sydney race is too strong for Goldstone so he will go to either Doomben or Moonee Valley,” Payne told Sky Racing.
“Larry Cassidy will ride him if we decide on Brisbane and Chad Schofield will ride if we go to Moonee Valley.
“Lilliburlero will definitely run in the Starlight with Glyn Schofield to ride. She has come back from Melbourne in good order.”
The Group winner will carry just 56kg in the race, which is three kilos less than top weight Aeronautical and the lowest weight the mare has run with since April.
Trust My Luck will also run at Rosehill in the 2YO Plate (1100m), making her debut against ten rivals. The Magic Millions graduate will not be focused towards the $2 million 2YO classic race at the Gold Coast in January, with Payne opting to rest the colt for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21 instead.
“The plan is to kick him off on Saturday and give him a break,” Payne said.
“There isn’t much time to get the young ones ready for the Slipper because it is early next year.”
The 2015 Golden Slipper worth $3.5 million will run at Rosehill.
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