If Samaready had made the normal progress from brilliant juvenile to top class three-year-old and then into open company, Friday night’s Moir Stakes would have been an obvious race for her.
But her progress has been far from normal and has made running in Moonee Valley’s weight-for-age sprint a calculated gamble for trainer Mick Price and the mare’s connections.
Samaready won the Blue Diamond Stakes in her first season of racing and was an unlucky third in the Golden Slipper.
When she resumed last spring as a three-year-old she struck a wet track and then caught a virus and was rested after only one run.
Price brought her back for the autumn and she suffered a muscle strain in her hindquarters before getting to the races.
As a result she steps up to Group One level in the Moir off the back of a first-up win in a moderate-strength Group Three race.
But both horse and trainer are prepared for the challenge.
“I had a look at a mares’ race at Caulfield last Saturday, but we decided to go this way,” Price said.
“I want to compete in the better races and she’s a million dollar Group One winner already …. physically I think she’s ready for it.
“So I’m not taking a backward step with her.”
The Moir field will include seasoned performers Bel Sprinter, the Queenslander Buffering, Snitzerland and Epaulette.
But a strong piece of work at Moonee Valley on Monday convinced Price his decision to run Samaready was correct.
“She flew,” he said.
“And she had lengths up her sleeve.”
“It’s a Group One with Bel Sprinter and all those horses, but my horse is spot-on so we’ll front up and see how we go.”