By Ray Hickson
Trainer Matthew Dale will have a clearer picture of where to aim in-form filly Notation in the new season if she can make it four on end at Randwick on Saturday.
Unbeaten in two starts for Dale, Notation is in the top half of the market for the $1.3m The Kosciuszko ($15) but there’s several appealing options to consider.
“We did give thought to targeting a stakes race with her in the near future but just looking at her rating she is below the base of an average Listed race,’’ Dale said.
“After Saturday we'll really sit down and map out a plan. She’s up at a different time of year, it’s been very fruitful for her because she is a BOBS filly and she’s won three straight.
“We’d like to get black type at some stage with her, she’s also a Magic Millions horse.’’
Dale said he hasn’t had a discussion with the filly’s owners about whether The Kosciuszko is in or out as a potential target – he also has proven Group 1 performer Fell Swoop aiming that way – but that chat is likely to happen post-Saturday.
Notation is $3.10 second favourite with TAB (as at Friday) in the PFD Food Services Handicap (1400m) where she’ll do battle with another in-form three-year-old in the Ron Quinton-trained Ljungberg ($2.70).
“She’s done really well off the back of her impressive win last start. Obviously she is going up in grade but she looks well placed,’’ Dale said.
“We haven’t had to do too much with her, two weeks bewteen runs she’s just ticked over nicely.’’
Over the same course on July 6, Notation’s last 600m of 36.59 was the best of her race (Punter's Intelligence) as was her last 200m of 12.65 as she strode away late.
The clash of the two in-form young horses has added interest as one of the pair will be in the box seat to be crowned BOBS horse of the year if successful.
Notation and Ljungberg have both collected $56,250 in bonuses this season and a win by either will see them pass current leader is River Bird, on $73,175.
Dylan’s Romance, who runs in the Ereimein Handicap (2000m) on Saturday, has earned the same amount as the duo in bonuses and could also hit the front if he wins again.
Of course there’s another three metro meetings remaining this season and the likes of River Bird and Handle The Truth have an opportunity to claim the title should they race next Saturday.
Quinton said Ljungberg’s part-owners Ray and Brett Gall, who are also owners of the smart Royal Celebration, are big fans of the BOBS initiative, particularly the ability to double up the bonuses at the sales.
Notation wins at Randwick on July 6
The gelding was narrowly beaten by River Bird two starts ago before an easy win over 1300m at Randwick on July 6.
“It was a good win and he’s done really well since his run,’’ Quinton said.
“Matthew’s horses are always hard to beat when he comes to down but we are there, we’ll give it a crack.’’
A win over Notation would see Ljungberg rise in Quinton’s current estimation.
“It’d be hard to say he’d be a stakes horse at this point in time but they can improve so you never know,’’ he said.
“I’d just hope he can go to another level and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes.’’