Part-time trainer Stuart Webb will be enjoying a family holiday in the United States when dual Group One winner Yosei vies for a slice of the winter carnival riches in the Group Two Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Webb, who is a farrier by trade and works alongside trainer Robert Smerdon, keeps a small team of up to five horses in work at Caulfield.
“Unfortunately, I can’t be there tomorrow. I’m in the United States on a family holiday and I’ve just visited Disneyland,” Webb said.
“The trip was planned some time ago and it’s unfortunate it clashed with the carnival there.”
Webb still does the odd farrier work but is enjoying his time as a trainer.
“I still do a couple of days farrier work each week but it’s hard work bending the back every day,” he said.
“The money is good but I enjoy training more.”
Yosei arrived in Queensland following her first-up sixth to Dubleanny in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 21.
The daughter of Invincible Spirit has started 13 times for three wins including two victories at the elite level in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick in April last year and the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield in October.
Webb then tried Yosei as a stayer, stepping her up in distance following her heavy-track failure in the Group One Myer Classic at Flemington to the Group One VRC Oaks on the same track in November.
Yosei never fired in the Oaks, finishing well back in 10th place after being with the tailenders throughout the 2500-metre feature.
“She never had a lot of luck in the Oaks and pulled up a bit ordinary so I gave her a long break,” Webb said.
“She proved to me she couldn’t stay so I’ve decided to keep her to around 1400 metres.”
Webb expects further improvement from Yosei ahead of her main mission, the Group One Winter Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
“She’s still on the way up and the Winter Stakes has been her main mission all along,” he said.
“I nominated her for the Stradbroke but that was just as a precaution.
“The Winter Stakes has always been the path we wanted to take with her.”