Returning to racing with an impressive and easy victory in the Australian Defence Force Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday, trainer David Hayes has outlined the featured Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 28th as the perfect target for talented mare Gregers through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Jye McNeil immediately led Gregers to the lead last weekend, setting a reasonably quick tempo over the back straight and rounding the bend before quickly spooling up and jogging away from her rivals; finding the line nearly four lengths in the clear of second-placed Members Joy.
Pleased with the easy and successful first-up performance from the Commands mare, Hayes said the length and conditions of the Sir Rupert Clarke looks sure to play directly into the strengths of Gregers this time in.
“That’s what I wanted for her, to have a nice soft kill,” Hayes said after the race.
“I think she really appreciated looking up and not seeing Lankan Rupee.
“The race I’ve got in the back of my mind for her is the Rupert Clarke. At 1400 I think she’d be really hard to catch around here.”
Securing an impressive total of five wins and four minor places from just 14 competitive race starts so far, Gregers was a standout performer over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; winning the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m), finishing third in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and second in the Group 2 Jeep Don’t Hold Back Classic (1600m) most notably.
Returning in autumn for a typically consistent preparation, the mare of out Satnav finished fourth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up before claiming a close second in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1100m0 on March 8th.
Overcoming poor running position to finish fourth in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 21st, Gregers ran home hard to finish third to Driefontein in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) on April 26th before again finishing fourth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) a fortnight later.
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