Autumn promise turned into a spring question mark when Blue Diamond Stakes winner Samaready finished out of the money on her return to racing in the Listed Quezette Stakes at Caulfield.
But an unperturbed trainer Mick Price will press on to his next target, the $1 million Group One Golden Rose in Sydney, blaming the rain-soaked track for the defeat.
“She was gone before the corner, but she picked herself up and finished fourth because she’s a good filly,” Price said.
As Samaready wallowed in the mud, the winner Elite Elle ($4) showed an extraordinary liking for it in the 1100m scamper.
“She’s a swimmer,” said winning jockey Damien Oliver.
“It’s very rare to get one that slips through it easily as she does.”
Elite Elle raced on the pace throughout and held on strongly after taking the lead at the 250m to score by a length from Agueda ($13) with Ephemera ($12) a further five lengths back in third place.
Trainer Tony Vasil is pondering a run in the Group One Thousand Guineas in October for Elite Elle, but is conscious of his filly’s liking for the wet.
“Even on a dead track she feels the ground,” Vasil said.
“It’s a matter of whether we make the most of this wet winter, or look at the Thousand Guineas.”
As impressive as Elite Elle was, Vasil tended to view the win cautiously.
“She’s won three-from-three, but the tracks have certainly helped her and they have been a problem for some of the others,” he said.
“We’ll wait and see how she is on top of the ground before we make any firm decisions.”
Samaready’s shock defeat came only 15 minutes after boom colt All Too Hard suffered the same fate in Sydney.
But bookies framing markets on the spring’s feature races were unmoved by both performances, leaving them largely unchanged following Saturday’s racing.