Having been resigned to Lumosty contesting a support race on Stradbroke Handicap day, trainer Robert Smerdon is more than happy the filly now has her chance at the lion’s share of $2 million in the main event.
The race-eve scratching of Lord Of The Sky paved the way for first emergency and $4.80 favourite Lumosty to gain a start in Saturday’s Group One Stradbroke (1350m) at Doomben, instead of running in the Dane Ripper Stakes on the way to the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara.
“At the end of the day, it’s great to be in it but if we weren’t in it we were going to the Tatt’s Tiara and so be it, Smerdon said.
“When you look at it, one is a two million dollar race tomorrow and the Dane Ripper is a $200,000 race. I know which one we’d like to have a crack at.”
Lumosty backed up a dominant fresh win at Flemington with another impressive performance in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) two weeks ago.
Smerdon said the Tatt’s Tiara at the Gold Coast on June 20 had always been the target and Lumosty’s early campaign form brought the Stradbroke into consideration.
He hasn’t had to change Lumosty’s preparation as both the Stradbroke and Dane Ripper are over the same distance.
“We’re pretty happy with her, and now it’s just a matter of how the race unfolds for us,” he said.
Singapore-based Australian Corey Brown takes the ride at 50.5kg.
Dane Ripper (1997), Private Steer (2003) and La Montagna (2006) are the three-year-old fillies to win Brisbane’s premier sprint in the past 20 years and Smerdon is hopeful Lumosty is also up to the task.
“I try never to get too far ahead of myself but certainly you can’t deny her form and when you look at the sectionals she was able to run during those (past two) races, she’s got that electric turn of foot,” he said.
“And she has won over a mile so she’s going to be strong at the trip.”
He admits barrier 12 is tricky.
“It’s not without its concerns but it’s something we’ve got to plan our strategy around and then let Corey use his judgment,” he said.
Lord Of The Sky pulled a plate and split the bulb on his off-fore foot while on his way to Queensland and had to be scratched while Godolphin’s Knoydart will undergo a veterinary examination on race morning after being found to be slightly short in his action.
Sydney trainer Joe Pride decided on Thursday not to send second emergency Rock Sturdy to Queensland so if Knoydart is ruled out third emergency Flamingo Star would gain a start giving trainer Chris Waller three runners.