Trainer Rob Heathcote is hopeful Tomboy can boost his arsenal for the interstate autumn carnivals when the talented mare returns to Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Tomboy will be attempting to post her eighth win from her past 10 starts in the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m), ahead of a possible trip to Sydney for the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Heathcote broke his Group One drought with Woorim in last Saturday’s Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield and hopes to claim another in the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington with either Woorim or Buffering.
Tomboy produced a stunning performance to win her open company debut at Doomben last start but faces a tougher task from barrier 13 in Saturday’s feature.
“It’s going to be tough from her barrier but there’s a good run from the 600 metres to the turn so hopefully it won’t have too much bearing,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote describes Tomboy as a “fragile unit” because of her ongoing leg problems.
The daughter of Murphy’s Blu Boy has an apple-shaped fetlock on her near-foreleg which requires regular maintenance after every gallop.
“She’s still very fragile and I haven’t been able to gallop her since her last win,” Heathcote said.
“She does plenty of swimming and I take her to the beach for work quite regularly.
“It’s an unconventional training preparation but there’s no alternative because of her dicky legs.”
Heathcote will take plenty of confidence for her upcoming Sydney campaign if Tomboy can maintain her outstanding record.
“This is her real big test and I’m expecting another good performance,” he said.
“If she runs a good race in the Coolmore she’ll probably stay on in Sydney for the Emancipation.
“I have my doubt she’ll be around for the winter carnival at home. It’s getting increasingly difficult but she’ll definitely be aimed for the spring races in Melbourne.”
The Group Two Emancipation Stakes (1600m) will be run at Randwick on April 28.
Jockey Robert Thompson will make the trip north to partner the Todd Howlett-trained Star Of Octagonal in the Members’ Cup.
Thompson has ridden the five-year-old at his past three starts, including the gelding’s third to Rain Affair in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm on January 2.
Star Of Octagonal subsequently finished third at Canterbury on January 28 before an impressive win over 1500 metres on a slow track at Rosehill on February 11.