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Smith Dreaming Of A Champagne End To Carnival

By Ray Hickson

If El Dorado Dreaming’s upset Group 1 win during The Championships was a fluke trainer Ben Smith is happy to accept that.

Trainer Ben Smith chasing another Group 1 at Royal Randwick on Saturday. (Pic: Bradley Photos).

But he’s confident the filly will prove more than a one hit wonder as she aims to add the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday to her Inglis Sires’ victory.

Smith has some bold ambitions for El Dorado Dreaming next season and says she’s gone forward since her Sires’ win at $151 with TAB Fixed Odds. She’s a $9 chance in the Champagne.

“Some people thought it was a bit of a fluke in the Sires but if we can get the job done again and run well it will help me with what we do in the spring,’’ Smith said.

“The way she has trained on we expect her to run really well. We’re not going to be disappointed if she’s beaten but I think she will run the mile out strongly.’’

The Sires’ is regularly the right form race for producing the Champagne winner and El Dorado Dreaming will be out to match the likes of Helmet (2011), Pierro (2012) and Guelph (2013) to claim both in recent years.

While it’s easy to say after the fact, Smith said he always seen plenty of talent in the filly and suspects a large part of her Sires’ win came through being able to sit back and run on.

Punters Intel data has El Dorado Dreaming running the fastest last 600m of the Sires’ in 34.34 and also revealed she covered an extra 11.2m in the run.

“We’ve been waiting a little while to see it. Her trackwork is really good but the penny hadn’t dropped on race day,’’ he said

“In the Sires’ it finally did, we were able to ride her quiet and patient, she justified what she’s shown us in her work.

“She’s still learning race smarts and hopefully with racing she keeps getting better.’’

The youngster had a quiet week after her Group 1 win as she went into that race on a seven day back-up and Smith said she had a nice blow out on Tuesday morning on the Newcastle course proper.

She worked over 1000m, finishing off her last 400m strongly.


El Dorado Dreaming's upset win in the Group 1 Inglis Sires' at Randwick on April 7

“It was more conditioning work than anything. I was really happy with her work,’’ he said.

“We pulled her blood before she worked and it came back quite good so everything profiles well for Saturday.’’

Jason Collett takes the ride on El Dorado Dreaming on Saturday chasing his first win at Group 1 level. Two years ago in the Champagne he was booked to ride odds-on favourite Yankee Rose but that filly was scratched with a minor foot injury a few days out from the race.

With Zabeel on the filly’s dam side, Smith is hoping he has an Oaks contender in the spring.

Meanwhile, his star sprinter In Her Time will have a barrier trial prior to heading north for next month’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000.

The mare ran a luckless third in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 7 and has bounced through the race better than ever.

“She normally loses 4-6kg from a run and she didn’t do that this time. I think she in career best form at the moment,’’ Smith said.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick

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