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Robert Smerdon’s progressive import Now Or Later has raced her way into Myer Classic contention this Melbourne Cup Carnival after a nice win at Flemington Racecourse on Turnbull Stakes Day in the Blazer Stakes 2017.
Having just her fourth start in Australia, the former Irish-raced Bushranger mare jumped double-figures in Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Blazer Stakes (1400m) after a first-up sixth when under a length beaten by the winner in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Stepping-up in distance, the extra metres and the earlier spring run had Now Or Later fitter and adding to her impressive second-up record.
“She’s still got her winter coat,” winning hoop Ryan Maloney said.
“Her first-up performance was really good she’s got a good second-up record, off natural progression we always thought she’d be good in this.
“She was too strong today.”
Now Or Later was settled off the pace in the Blazer Stakes as the locally-trained last start Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes winner at the track Sword Of Light led the field around.
Also up on the pace were the likes of the widely-drawn Danny O’Brien-trained Denman five-year-old Merriest, coming off a lead-up Caulfield win, in the inside and Schism.
Ellicazoom meanwhile was on the fence looking for a run as the field bunched in a tight pack at the 500m, and Euro Angel found herself bailed-up badly in an awkward position also on the fence.
Coming onto the straight Merriest was the deepest runner, before she moved into the centre and came with her run late moving up to the leaders.
She hit the front 50m out from the line and nearly looked the winner before Now Or Later hit the scene and snared the win, while $51 roughie Payroll finished off the Blazer Stakes trifecta in third at big odds.
Smerdon also prepared the 2012 Blazer Stakes winner Mosheen and, like her, plans with Now Or Later are to head to race next-up on Caulfield Cup Day (October 21) in the Group 2 $200,000 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) on way to the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) on November 4.
“She’s come back this time around…she’s got good upside so hopefully we can just progress onto the Myer [Class], that would be the holy grail for her,” Smerdon said.
“That [the Tristarc Stakes] was the plan, to go again in two weeks’ time.
“She’s really is a gross mare, a month between runs wouldn’t have her where we want her.”
To get behind Smerdon’s Blazer Stakes winner Now Or Later next race and in the Myer Classic 2017 at the top Melbourne racing odds, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2017 Blazer Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 07/10/2017
|1||14||NOW OR LATER (IRE)||Robert Smerdon||Ryan Maloney||–||10||55kg||$10|
|2||11||MERRIEST||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||0.4L||11||55.5kg||$7|
|3||12||PAYROLL||Richard Laming||Jamie Mott||1.15L||14||55.5kg||$41|
|4||16||PETITION||Anthony Freedman||Luke Currie||1.35L||12||55kg||$5.50F|
|5||7||EURO ANGEL (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||1.75L||6||57kg||$16|
|6||4||SWORD OF LIGHT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||1.85L||2||58kg||$11|
|7||5||ECKSTEIN||Kurt Goldman||Corey Brown||2.35L||5||57kg||$13|
|8||2||FRENCH EMOTION||Chris Waller||Brad Rawiller||2.85L||13||58kg||$31|
|9||9||MISSROCK||Robbie Laing||Ben Melham||3.15L||4||55.5kg||$6.50|
|10||18e||WRITTEN ERA||Aaron Purcell||Regan Bayliss||3.25L||8||55kg||$61|
|11||1||PROMPT RESPONSE||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||3.75L||3||58kg||$8|
|12||10||ELLICAZOOM||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||5.5L||1||55.5kg||$11|
|13||17e||GIVE US A GO||Craig Anderson||Anthony Darmanin||6.75L||7||55kg||$51|
|14||13||SCHISM||Aaron Purcell||Beau Mertens (a)||9.5L||9||55kg||$41|
|–||19e||PURE PRIDE (NZ)||Murray Johnson||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||3||KENEDNA||Darren Weir||John Allen||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||SHILLELAGH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|
|–||15||BABY DON’T CRY||Peter Morgan||Regan Bayliss||–||0||–||–|
|–||6||OREGON’S DAY||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||–||0||–||–|
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