Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer hasn’t given up hope his star mare Spright will secure one of the remaining five slots in the $14m TAB Everest, but concedes she may have run her last race.
Spright has returned to NSW to part-owner Greg White’s property at Scone following her 11th to Invincibella – though beaten only 2.25 lengths – in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 22.
“She had done well leading up to the Tiara, but the race perhaps showed that she had come to the end of her campaign,” Frazer said.
“There are still a few nibbles around for The Everest [to be run over 1200m at Royal Randwick on October 1] and naturally I’d love the opportunity to get her ready for a crack at that. I’m sure she would be very competitive.
“But if nothing eventuates, then she will go to stud in the new season and be mated with Zoustar. If she has run her last race, we can take pride in what she achieved and she has taken us on a great ride all around Australia.”
Frazer has done an outstanding job with the rising six-year-old daughter of Hinchinbrook, who has raced 32 times for six wins and 10 placings and earned nearly $1.4m.
He clinched the fourth Group 1 success of his training career when Spright overpowered her own sex in the TAB Classic (1200m) at Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse on May 4.
His earlier triumphs at racing’s elite level were with Turridu (1995 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm and George Main Stakes at Royal Randwick) and Quick Star (1999 Champagne Stakes at Randwick).
Spright has won three times at Group 3 level (in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) and was placed twice in Group 1 company at Moonee Valley before her breakthrough success at Morphettville.
She subsequently ran third in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) there on May 18 before finishing an unlucky fourth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
If Spright is retired, Frazer doubts he will ever get another horse of her calibre.
“You never know, but I only keep 12 horses in work and it’s a numbers’ game,” he said. “I don’t have the clients who can spend big money buying yearlings.”
Hawkesbury co-trainers Tara and Philippe Vigouroux continued their most successful season by scoring with Bully Rock ($6) at Muswellbrook on Monday.
The Choisir three-year-old broke through at his seventh start, providing the couple with their 15th victory of 2018-19 – two more than they had prepared in the previous three seasons.
With Chad Lever replacing Winona Costin, Bully Rock was quickly away and outsped his rivals, proving too nippy for the more fancied pair Emperor’s Star ($1.95 favorite) and Fanciful Dream ($3.50).
Team Vigouroux put blinkers on the gelding, and the move paid off: “He is a big baby and is a work in progress,” Philippe Vigouroux said.
“He has been scratched twice at the barriers before. We gave him one gallop in blinkers, and that plus going back to country grade did the trick.”