Lee Curtis has resorted to putting Lasqueti Spirit over jumps in an attempt to lift the Group One-winner’s performance before her main autumn target, the Sydney Cup.
The Rosehill trainer has tinkered with the four-year-old mare’s pre-race regime as he tries to coax the VRC Oaks winner from a form slump.
Lasqueti Spirit has struggled since finishing third in the Group One Australian Oaks at Randwick last April.
Her previous preparation was particularly frustrating, and curtailed after unplaced runs in the Listed Rowley Mile and Group Two Chelmsford Stakes.
Lasqueti Spirit was 14 lengths behind Winx when she opened her campaign in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes on March 3.
She then ran second-last in the Group Three Sky High Stakes (2000m) won by Auvray,one of her likely rivals in Saturday’s Group One Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill.
She was at $101 on Tuesday, the same price she was when she stunned her VRC Oaks rivals, but Curtis is not expecting a repeat.
“If she can run first five and run well we’d be happy going into the 2018 Sydney Cup where there’s a pretty decent weight turnaround on a few of them,” Curtis said.
Lasqueti Spirit drops from 56.5kg in the weight-for-age Tancred Stakes to 50kg in the $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 14.
Curtis believes Lasqueti Spirit is in a better space mentally after some remedial work.
“We’re in a bit of restricted environment at Rosehill. It’s not like we can take them out in the bush for a bit of fun or something but we’ve put her over jumps once a week,” he said.
“They’re very small jumps, almost like logs on the ground.”
If she can’t perform in her next couple of starts, Curtis concedes she may be nearing the end of her racing career.
“I guess we’re at the point where if she did in put one or two bad runs now we’d probably look to retiring her,” he said.