Trainer Mathew Ellerton and his training partner Simon Zahra have some thinking to do after Booker took out the Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield.
The dilemma is whether to press on to the 1600 metres of the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on October 14 following Sunday’s victory over 1400m or freshen her for a tilt at the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.
“We’ll let the dust settle and see what we do,” Ellerton said.
Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Booker ($6.50) held off Shoals ($5.50) by a long neck with the $1.95 favourite Catchy a short-head away third.
Ellerton was concerned by the way Booker wobbled around the home turn, as she did when run down by Merchant Navy in the McNeil Stakes on September 2.
“She’s a filly that doesn’t get put under a lot of pressure at home,” Ellerton said.
“She’s probably still learning to let down and in both starts here she’s wobbled around the bend so she’s just getting used to that raceday pressure.
“She probably didn’t want much further today but in saying that she did do a little bit of work early and she’s got some improvement to come.”
Dunn said the leader Mahlani ($101), who weakened to finish at the tail of the eight runners, increased the tempo with 700m to run and he was mindful the opposition might be too powerful late.
But he is confident the filly will handle a rise in trip.
“Her pedigree says more sharp, but she seems to be showing us she wants further, so that’s good,” he said.
Lindsay Park senior trainer David Hayes wasn’t disappointed by Blue Diamond winner Catchy’s defeat and will be recommending she runs in the Caulfield Guineas on October 14.
“If she runs against the boys she’ll go from topweight today to bottom weight,” Hayes said.
“She’s a Group One winner and has beaten the boys all her life and gave the winner 3-1/2 kilos today.”