By Ray Hickson
A different approach to Dixie Blossom’s autumn campaign is what trainer Ron Quinton hopes can finally realise a Group 1 win for his classy mare.
Quinton suspects we haven’t seen the five-year-old at the peak of her powers yet and that’s an ominous sign for her rivals in the Group 2 $200,000 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
He produced his other top shelf mare Daysee Doom to win the Millie Fox Stakes first-up last weekend but has an air of confidence when it comes to Dixie.
“I think she might even be a little bit better than she was. Without being too cheeky about it,’’ Quinton said.
“She’s coming along really well, we couldn’t be happier with her in any shape or form.’’
Dixie Blossoms has two Group 1 placings against her name, and has been unlucky in the last two editions of the Myer Classic in Melbourne, and Quinton wants her ready for the Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 17.
Dixie Blossoms accounts for Russian Revolution in a trial at Randwick on February 12
With that in mind he ordered a rousing second barrier trial and she downed the recently retired Oakleigh Plate winner Russian Revolution.
“The last trial was a really good solid trial. I said to Corey (Brown) that I wanted to treat the trial as a first-up run not just a trial,’’ Quinton said.
“I wanted to give them a little bit of space after Melbourne and that’s why I was a little late getting her going.
“She races so well at Randwick so I thought we would target this first-up. She’ll end up going into the Coolmore second-up and that won’t worry because she’s had the two trials and the race.
“Our ultimate aim is to try and win a major with both her and Daysee Doom.’’
Dixie Blossoms won the Guy Walter Stakes by 6-1/2 lengths last year, second-up on a heavy track, and is striving to be the third mare, following Hot Danish (2008-9) and Steps In Time (2012-13), to defend her title. She opened $4 favourite with TAB on Wednesday.
Quinton is sending Boss Lane around from a soft barrier in the Group 3 $150,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) and is happy enough for the gelding to be overlooked again.
The honest seven-year-old ran third in the tight finish to the Southern Cross Stakes two weeks ago and showed he’s in good touch running 34.47 (Punters Intel), the third fastest last 600m of the race.
“He’s run quite well and he was a tad unlucky the other day,’’ Quinton said.
“I’m looking forward to giving him his chance. He will be able to travel sweetly, he’s drawn well, in a race like that.’’
Andrew Adkins, who is off to Macau to ride in his first international Group 1 race on Sunday, rides Boss Lane for the 11th time on Saturday and has three wins under his belt on the evergreen sprinter.