SUNDAY: February 24, 2019: SPRIGHT’S luckless fifth in yesterday’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield has earned the classy Hawkesbury mare a shot at another Melbourne feature sprint – the $1.25m VRC Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
But she will be prepared from her home base before returning to Melbourne next week.
“Spright is coming home tonight and we’ll train her at Hawkesbury for the next 10 days before sending her back south,” trainer Garry Frazer said this morning.
“Her run yesterday was fantastic,” Frazer added. “She got back way too far and did a remarkable job to be beaten only two lengths.
“She is going terrific, and it’s disappointing to see her not clinch a Group 1 breakthrough.”
The sectional times and stewards’ report illustrate her Oakleigh Plate misfortune.
Spright, 17th at the 800m, clocked the fastest sectionals for the last 800m (43.11s), 600m (32.84), 400m (22.08) and 200m (11.29) of any of the 18 runners.
“Passing the 800m, Spright raced in restricted room for a short distance and over the concluding stages, when making ground, was held up for clear running,” stewards reported.
Michael Walker rode Spright for the first time yesterday, but Frazer has not yet confirmed a Newmarket booking for his mare, and a riding change is likely.