Classy Hawkesbury sprinter Spright is ready to embark on a new campaign as a “stronger mare”. Trainer Garry Frazer has earmarked Royal Randwick on Epsom day (September 30) for Spright’s return following an impressive barrier trial performance at Wyong earlier this week.
But she won’t be taking on the gun sprinters in the $500,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m). Instead, she will resume in a Benchmark 90 Handicap over the same course.
“It’s an easier option for her, and an ideal starting point for her spring campaign,” Frazer said. “I’m very happy with how she is progressing. She is not only a stronger mare now as a four-year-old, but a lot more relaxed.”
That was evident at Wyong on Monday when Spright sat back off the pace before attacking the line with gusto to win the 1000m heat in 59.04secs (last 600m in 34.63s). She had previously finished a close third to last Saturday’s Group 3 Sheraco Stakes winner Ravi in a 1050m Randwick trial on August 31.
Frazer has confirmed Jay Ford will be aboard Spright when she resumes at Randwick at the end of the month.
“Jay has ridden her in both recent trials, and made a commitment for her races,” Frazer explained. “He is a very good jockey, and underrated.”
Ford rode Spright at the end of her last campaign when third to France in the $400,000 Inglis Guineas (1400m) at the Scone carnival in May. Prior to the Scone placing, she had been out of luck when eighth to locally-trained Shazee Lee (Scott Singleton) in the Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) in late April.
Spright, a daughter of Hinchinbrook, has raced 13 times for three wins and six placings and stakemoney of $409,300. One of those victories was an explosive performance on the straight course at Flemington against her own sex at last November’s Melbourne Cup carnival.
Frazer again has set his sights on Melbourne, but not for the time being. After the September 30 assignment, she will have a break of three weeks before contesting the $150,000 Group 3 The Nivison (1200m) at Randwick on October 21.
“All going well, she will then go to Melbourne for a couple of nice races against her own sex and hopefully a shot at a Group 1 at the end of the carnival,” Frazer said.
Meanwhile, Frazer is chasing a hat-trick with form stayer Perpetual Motion at today’s Newcastle Cup meeting. He runs in the Benchmark 65 Handicap (2300m).
The Dylan Thomas five-year-old has won his last two starts – at Bathurst on August 18 and Hawkesbury on September 2 – carrying 61kg on each occasion: “He has always had the ability, but been a slow learner,” Frazer said. “Now he is putting it all together.”