By Gary Harley
The prospect of a rain-affected track at Doomben on Saturday has forced Randwick trainer John Thompson to float his classy filly Blanco Cara back home and run her at Newcastle on Saturday.
The New Zealand-bred Blanco Cara is a short-priced favourite in Saturday’s 2340m Class 1 and Maiden Plate at Newcastle.
Thompson intended starting his filly in The Roses at Doomben on Saturday. The Roses is a vital lead up race to the Group 1 Queensland Oaks to be run at Eagle Farm on June 10.
Left: Blanco Cara - the filly is sure to take holding out at Newcastle on Saturday. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Blanco Cara was sent to Brisbane after demolishing an 1850 metre Maiden field at Newcastle on April 20. The three-year-old turned in an eye-catching performance in the Gold Coast Bracelet a lead up race to the Queensland Oaks.
The filly rattled home to finish three lengths behind Oaks favourite Dawn Wall in the 1800m event. She is a genuine Queensland Oaks aspirant and Thompson said on Friday that Blanco Cara needs to race this weekend.
“The ideal situation is that this filly has a 2000 metre plus run this weekend three weeks before the Oaks. The Roses was the right race but with heavy rain forecast in Brisbane I had to make a decision.
"Blanco Cara does not like wet tracks. The Newcastle race looks ideal so I brought her back from Queensland. She is a very strong staying filly and she will run 2400 metres without question.
"So, all going well at Newcastle, Blanco Cara will head back to Queensland. However, if the Newcastle track is a soft 7 or worse she won’t run there either. I have a good opinion of this filly which is a half-sister to Australian Derby winner Tivago.
"I won’t be at Newcastle as I have two stayers Maurus and Astronomos in the Doomben Cup. Both love wet tracks but I favour Maurus,” Thompson said.
Champion jockey Robert Thompson has only taken the one ride at Newcastle and that is the Hawkes-trained filly Primavera. The lightly raced Primavera purchased for $520,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale has had four starts. She was beaten three lengths in a Randwick two-year-old twelve months ago.
The filly resumed in September for a close third at Kembla then she went to the paddock again. Primavera was slow away when a fast finishing fourth at Gosford on May 4.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said on Thursday that he was confident about the three-year-old’s prospects: “We are taking her to Newcastle hoping she can win as she will be sold at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast next month. Her first up run at Gosford was full of merit and this is a lovely race for her,” Hawkes said.
Former Albury trainer Brett Cavanagh now based at Scone has three live chances at the Newcastle meeting. ‘Cav’ saddles up Star Boy (race 1), Al Cubana (race 6) and Lunar Duchess (race 7).