By Ray Hickson
Trainer Matthew Smith says an extra week’s wait for the return of talented mare Lashes at Rosehill on Saturday can only be to her benefit after bulking up in her break.
The four-year-old tips the scales 10kg heavier than she weighed when she resumed with a slashing off-pace win so Smith is hoping the race pans out in similar fashion.
It’s always a risk to scratch and go looking for a better draw – Lashes drew the outside at Randwick a week ago so connections elected to wait a week – but Smith came up trumps with gate two in the Vinery Stud Handicap (1100m) and says that will give her every chance.
“She’s a bigger, stronger, mare than last prep so I am sure she will improve with the run but in saying that she’s done enough to run well first-up,’’ Smith said.
“Her work has been great, she has a bit of weight but she has drawn soft so I think she will run really well.
“There might be a bit of tempo in the race and that suits her, if she can lob in behind them it could set up nicely for her.’’
Kerrin McEvoy rides Lashes with the 59.5kg and while that’s 4kg more than first-up last prep she did win at her second run back with 59kg on a heavy track.
Lashes has trialled to Smith’s liking, she’s a good trialler as a rule, and he said he’s likely to keep her in the stable through the winter and hope to strike early in the spring.
“She needs her runs spaced a bit, she starts off now she will have a couple of runs under her belt and be ready to crack on in the spring,’’ he said.
“We can space her runs and keep her ticking over. She does better in work than what she does in the paddock so she is better in the stable rather than giving her a long break.’’
Interestingly, Lashes ran down the Brad Widdup-trained Adelong, who was also scratched from the same race at Randwick last week, to win first-up back in January and the pair face off again.
Adelong has had a run back since their previous clash and finished a close second behind Lesage at Canterbury, Widdup suspected she might have been half a run short so says that run has brought her on.
He scratched the mare from last week because he wasn’t 100 per cent happy with her but says it’s all systems go this time.
“She’s definitely tightened up and I’m a lot happier with her,’’ Widdup said.
“She had just the one trial into the last run but James (McDonald) was very happy with her after the race. You put those good riders on to get feedback so you’ve got to listen to it.’’
Lashes downs Adelong at Kensington on January 4
Widdup said Adelong just wasn’t as sharp in the first 50m at Canterbury and consequently she wasn’t able to muster the speed to lead as she has done in previous starts.
“Godolphin got the right tactic (with Lesage), and we were half slow away. I think they got the right run and we didn’t,’’ he said.
“Everyone was expecting her to (lead) but I have sort of wanted her to not do it too hard so I was pleased to see her relax even though she was beaten.
“Knowing James, after having had a ride on her, I’m sure she’ll bang her out and be pretty positive.’’
Adelong was $2.25 favourite with TAB on Thursday afternoon with Lashes on the second line at $4.