Trainer Matthew Smith has two small warnings for punters ahead of promising import Attorney’s return at Randwick on Saturday – there’s no guarantee he’ll wind up in a Sydney Cup this prep and a seriously wet track first-up is not an ideal scenario.
The Warwick Farm trainer has no doubt Attorney is going to win his share of races and has the potential to develop into a classy stayer but wants to err on the side of caution for the Heineken 3 Handicap (1600m).
Attorney, a solid $3 favourite with TAB on Friday, is unbeaten in two starts in Australia and Smith said any improvement in the track would enhance his chances.
“He’s a really nice horse, he’s working well and his trials have been good,’’ he said.
“The condition of the track might bring him undone first-up, it’s hard to know if he’s forward enough to win on a soft or heavy track.
“He needed to get his preparation started and whatever he does he will improve into the preparation. So to be fair he’s probably a little bit vulnerable.’’
The five-year-old is nominated for both the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), where he’s a $15 chance with TAB, at The Star Championships but he’s only a 76 rated horse at present.
So Smith said he’ll allow Attorney the chance to rise through the grades in his next few starts, given he’s only had six of them, and suspects he’ll be a better horse come the spring.
“That’s the fun of racing horses, you don’t have to aim too high too early if they aren’t ready for it,’’ he said.
“But if you can let the horse build in fitness and confidence and have him in the right frame of mind by getting a couple of wins on the board that is the way to do it.
“It all comes down to his staying capabilities. We don’t know if he can run 2400m, we don’t know how good he is.
“We will find out a bit more about him this preparation and we can map out a plan for the spring.’’
There’s no question marks over a wet track as Lashes makes her stakes debut in the Group 3 $160,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes (1200m).
The honest four-year-old has won two races on heavy tracks, including a dominant second-up win at Rosehill a month ago, but Smith said he’s puzzled by her last start defeat when fourth behind Roheryn, back on a good track, at Randwick on February 1.
“I don’t know what to make of that run, I went home scratching my head about it,’’ he said.
“When you watch the replay and analyse where the placegetters came from she was in the right spot.
“I don’t know if a horse crowding her put her off her game a bit because she came again on the line. So I just put a line through that run and she’s back on a track she handles well.’’
Lashes is a $14 chance with TAB in an open market and Smith concedes the Triscay is a shade stronger than he anticipated when setting his sights on the race.
However, a soft to heavy track and the fact she’s had three runs under her belt are in her favour.
“We thought this was a suitable race for her,’’ he said.
“She’s a gross mare so we’ve kept her racing instead of spacing the runs. It’s a good race, when you step into Group company they are strong races most of the time.’’
– Racing NSW