Trainer Brian Smith believes classy mare Jasminka will prove she’s a genuine winter carnival sprints contender if she overcomes a hefty weight rise in the Bright Shadow Handicap at Doomben.
Jasminka will be out to maintain her unblemished second-up record in Saturday’s 1200-metre Listed feature following her stunning victory in her comeback in a Class Six Plate (1200m) at Doomben last month.
Jasminka’s win was the fifth of her 12-start career and came at her first appearance since April last year.
Smith has always had a good opinion of Jasminka but fears a 3.5 kilogram jump in weight will prove a major test for the five-year-old.
“She’s going up a huge amount in weight considering it was a class six last time and she’s meeting a lot better horses,” Smith said.
“But she pulled up well following her last run and she’s been working well.
“The barrier draw (11) also makes it a tough task for her.”
Smith has long-range plans pencilled in to target the Group One Winter Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June but hasn’t ruled out some of the bigger winter sprints, including the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.
“I’ll nominate her for the Stradbroke but there’s plenty of other good fillies and mares races before the Winter Stakes if her form measures up,” he said.
Smith missed seeing Jasminka’s comeback win as he was in New Zealand attending the wedding of close friend John Wheeler.
Jasminka has been plagued by injury throughout her career but the daughter of Sakura Seeking has always shown she’s capable of winning at the highest level.
Meanwhile, stablemate Raeburn will launch his Brisbane Cup campaign when he resumes in the Off The Rails Handicap (1350m).
Raeburn, a Scott Galloway mount, hasn’t raced since landing his third successive win on a heavy track over 2200 metres at Doomben on Boxing Day.
Smith is reluctant to compare Raeburn with his former top stayer Hume who broke down while on a Sydney autumn carnival path in 2010 after winning six times in 18 starts.
“I don’t like comparing horses but Raeburn shows a lot of promise,” Smith said.
“I’m getting him ready for the Brisbane Cup and it’ll come around quickly.
“He’ll run just about every two weeks from now on until the Cup.
“The best part about him is he can handle any type of going.”
The Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 11.