Pinker Pinker trainer Greg Eurell is confident his Cox Plate champion is headed in the right direction ahead of the Group 1 2012 Chipping Norton Stakes.
The four-year-old mare, who has more than $2,000,000 in prize money to her name, ran a close second to the red hot King Mufhasa in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 25, 2012.
Eurell believes the Futurity hit out will serve as ideal preparation for the 2012 Chipping Norton Stakes.
“We are thrilled to bits with her run, as the winner was always the horse to beat with that tempo he set up and with the race fitness he had on us,” he said.
“She finished off well and given that she has never really performed well first-up in the past, it was a terrific effort.
”We can now start looking at her second-up run in the Chipping Norton Stakes over a mile [1600 metres] in Sydney next month. We all know just how dynamite she is second-up and that run will do her the world of good.”
The Chipping Norton Stakes will take place on March 10, 2012 at Sydney’s Warwick Farm racecourse.
Last year’s winner Danleigh is expected to again run in the $350,000 race which will be held over 1600 metres.
The Chris Waller trained gelding ran third in last weekend’s Apollo Stakes but it could be tough going for the seven-year-old who has not won since taking out the Chipping Norton last year.
There is expected to be a strong showing of Waller trained horses, with three others running in the Apollo Stakes.
Hugh Bowman rode Shootout to a second-place-finish in the Apollo Stakes which came on the back his third placing in the Express Stakes in early February.
Hawk Island and Rangirangdoo also got some much needed preparation for the Chipping Norton, getting through the Apollo Stakes unscathed, albeit with back end finishes.
Waller was impressed with all four horses and is confident they are in good shape heading in to the March 10 Group 1 event.
“All four showed they were on track for the Chipping Norton,” he said.
“It was good to see Shoot Out fight to the line like he did.
“And it was also good to see Rangirangdoo finish off the race.”
All the latest odds for the 2012 Chipping Norton Stakes will be out next week on Luxbet, home of the $400 bonus bet.