Trainer Brian Smith may raise the Brisbane winter carnival bar to the Group One Stradbroke Handicap with Jasminka following the mare’s brilliant victory in the Listed Bright Shadow Handicap at Doomben.
Jasminka burst clear of the pack over the final stages to down Alberton Park by three-quarters-of-a-length in Saturday’s 1200-metre feature.
Jasminka maintained her unbeaten second-up record after making her return from an injury enforced spell with a narrow win at Doomben a fortnight ago.
“They just don’t win like that,” Smith said.
“She’s got two screws in her front fetlock.
“I wanted to crawl under the fence the day she ran third at Eagle Farm a year ago when she cracked her canon bone and had to have a year off.”
Smith and winning jockey Larry Cassidy have set their sights on the Group One Winter Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25 with the five-year-old.
However, both agreed the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) a fortnight earlier was now a real possibility.
“What she did today was enormous,” Smith said.
“We’re looking at the winter races and the Winter Stakes but we might throw in a nomination now for the Stradbroke.”
Jasminka, who took her record to six wins from 13 starts, was ridden a treat by Cassidy who can’t wait for the winter sprints to arrive.
“I just sat and sat and sat on her knowing she had a big weight with 58 kilos,” Cassidy said.
“That was something special to see her win second-up after such a long lay off.”
Earlier leading apprentice Justin Wood likened promising Gold Coast filly La Bella Rose to a footballer following her gutsy win in the Sky Form Handicap (1350m).
Jumping from the outside gate, La Bella Rose was ridden aggressively to lead and looked like going down over the final stages before she dug deep to fight back for a short-neck win over Unica Bahaya.
“She’s got more muscles than brains and is a bit like a footballer and has to be told three times,” Wood said.
“I didn’t want to lead on her but when I did she was able to have a breather mid-race.
“I had to be more aggressive on her when she got into the straight and she showed a lot of fight.”
Bailey is hoping the daughter of Shamardal will measure up to some of the longer winter carnival races but stopped short of declaring her a contender for next month’s Group One Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
“She might be too brilliant for the Oaks but she’s a better chaser than a leader,” he said.
“I might back her up next week and then start to step her up in distance for some of the longer fillies races in the winter.”