MONDAY: May 20, 2019: HAWKESBURY’S star sprinter Spright may yet get another chance to chase Group 1 glory before season’s end.
Nothing went right for Spright when a courageous third in last Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville, and she is in Melbourne en route from Adelaide.
“She appears to have come through the race okay, and will be home on Wednesday morning,” trainer Garry Frazer said this morning.
“I will give her a week in the paddock and then decide what to do.
“We still might go to Brisbane with her.”
Frazer has entered Spright for the $1.5m Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8, for which weights will be issued next Monday.
But there is another Group 1 1400m feature at that track for which he is showing keen interest, especially as it is against her own sex.
That is the $500,00 Tattersall’s Tiara for fillies and mares, run a fortnight later under weight-for-age conditions.
Spright has raced only three times at 1400m (all in her three-year-old season), and can be excused for her first attempt when eighth in the Group 2 Surround Stakes at Royal Randwick in February, 2017 on a heavy track.
She then could not obtain clear running in the straight two months later when eighth to another local Shazee Lee (subsequent 2018 Tatt’s Tiara winner Prompt Response was second) in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas two months later before finishing a close third to France (dual Group 1 winner Prized Icon was runner-up) in the Scone Guineas at her next start.
Frazer, understandably, is rueing the bad luck Spright encountered behind the barrier in the lead-up to The Goodwood start last Saturday.
“She looked magnificent parading, but kicked a fence at the start and lost her near hind plate and had to be reshod,” he said. “It’s never happened with her before.
“Spright then underwent a veterinary examination and was passed fit to start.”
Because of what had happened with Spright, South Australian stewards then decided to avoid a clash with the last race at Rosehill Gardens, resulting in The Goodwood eventually being run 16 minutes after the scheduled starting time.
Spright, as is her custom, settled well back and was 15th at the 800m and 13th at 400m with rider Damien Oliver electing to try and save ground by staying near the inside, with the rail out 4m from the 1200m to 600m and 6m for the remainder.
When Oliver won the Group 1 TAB Classic over the same route a fortnight earlier (the rail was in the TRUE position), he brought Spright to the outside and she unleashed a brilliant burst to overpower her rivals.
The five-year-old daughter of Hinchinbrook now has recorded three Group 1 placings along with her success at that level earlier in the month, and amassed earnings of $1,328,095, certainly increasing her value as a potential broodmare.