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Mathew Ellerton is hopeful rather than confident Booker is back to her best form

Mathew Ellerton is hopeful rather than confident Booker is back to the form that carried her to a first-up win in the Group One Oakleigh Plate.

Ellerton, who trains in partnership with his cousin Simon Zahra, has Booker aimed at a first-up tilt at Adelaide’s premier sprint, the Group One Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Booker won the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February before finishing ninth in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) won by Sunlight at Flemington in March.

“She pulled up a bit crook after the Newmarket,” Ellerton said.

“She had a bit of a temperature so she had some time off in the paddock on the grass.

“She’s had a couple of of jump-outs at Flemington to make sure she’s in good shape and she looks like she is.

“But I don’t know if she’s where she was before the Oakleigh Plate.

“We’re hopeful that she is, hopeful not confident.

“It’s a Group One, so you have to be right on the ball.”

Ellerton is unsure of plans following Saturday saying he wants to see how the mare comes through the race.

He said a trip to Queensland was a possibility but the breeding barn was still a little way off.

“She’s still only a four-year-old,” Ellerton said.

“She seems pretty sound and happy at the moment so I think she’ll race on.”

Booker is one of 24 entries for the Goodwood which is run at set-weights and penalties.

To be ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Booker will carry 56.5kg, the same weight as last-start Sangster Stakes winner Spright.

Booker and Spright are the equal highest-rated horses in the race.

Spright heads the betting at $3.20 ahead of Iconoclasm at $5.50 with Booker third pick at $7.

The final field with barriers will be announced on Tuesday.

 
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