By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Sargent has an inkling that well related filly Four Moves Ahead could be a Golden Slipper contender and hopes she confirms that thought at Kensington on Saturday.
The youngster, a half-sister to Sargent’s Group 3 winner Emeralds, has done nothing but impress with two handy trial wins ahead of her debut in the Schweppes Handicap (1150m).
Tommy Berry has ridden Four Moves Ahead in both her trial wins and stays with her on race day, Sargent said despite a potentially tricky draw he’s confident the filly will adapt to whatever Berry asks of her.
“She’s a lovely filly, it’s a shame about the draw but it’s a good run down the side,’’ Sargent said.
“She’s a half to Emeralds but a lot more mature at the same age. She has a great attitude, she just sleeps and eats and works and is a perfect racehorse really.
“She could jump and lead or relax anywhere in the field. She’s not a jump and run horse but does what the jockey asks.”
Four Moves Ahead trialled back in October but Sargent elected to put her aside for three weeks as she’s not a Magic Millions horse with Readily Availabull representing the stable there.
She’s a $34 chance in TAB’s Golden Slipper market and opened $4.40 for Saturday’s assignment with dual accepted Ranch Hand a $2.50 chance.
Four Moves Ahead wins a trial at Randwick on December 22
“She could be a Slipper horse if she fronts up on Saturday,’’ Sargent said.
“I haven’t nailed her right down but she is fit enough to be hard to beat. There are a lot of other first starters there too so you don’t know what’s there.”
The Randwick trainer has a handy team getting ready for the autumn carnival and is keen to aim Emeralds at the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in March while promising filly Elizabeel is headed for races like the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) at the end of February.
Emeralds is due to trial in mid-January and Sargent is rapt with how the Angst Stakes winner has come back since her midfield finish in the Golden Eagle.
“She’s starting to realise what she’s got,’’ he said.
“She can run on a wet track, it was just too wet for her in the Golden Eagle with that rain before the race and it got to her.
“She’ll trial in a couple of weeks and I’ll work a plan back from the Coolmore.
“Elizabeel has done very well in her spell. She’s come in a lot stronger, she was a bit stiff at the end of her last campaign in the Bondi because she hates the wet.”
We're unlikely to be seeing a whole lot of the newly gelded Doncaster placegetter Brandenburg, though, as Sargent said he still has a couple of weeks of spelling left and will only have a few starts in the autumn.
“Gelding him probably cost him some time and he’s going to have a light autumn, he might even go up to Queensland and spell there,’’ he said.
“We’ll aim to get him over ground and ready for good races in the spring.”