While many of her rivals are on their way to the breeding barn, Sydney mare Tricky Gal will be have her spring claims put under the microscope at Doomben.
Tricky Gal will make a belated appearance in Brisbane to tackle the Group Three Sapphire Stakes (1600m) at Doomben.
The Sapphire Stakes, which was formerly known as the Glenlogan Park Stud Stakes, has proved a good guide to future spring carnival races in the past two decades.
Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith hopes that will be the case again with Tricky Gal.
He had been planning a full-scale assault on the winter carnival before coronavirus pandemic restrictions were introduced.
Smith had decided on a short Sydney campaign but changed his thinking when the winter races were expanded into June and July.
Tricky Gal has been taken along slowly and given plenty of time to mature with10 starts for five wins and four minor placings.
Smith said Tricky Gal was a promising mare who could run fast final sectional times.
“She is an adaptable mare who has won on heavy going and is unbeaten on soft tracks,” he said.
“But she is effective in good going as well. So no matter the conditions on Saturday she will handle them.
“She has had four starts at 1600m for two wins and two seconds so we would expect her to be competitive.”
Many of the mares in the Sapphire Stakes and other races at Doomben are entered for the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale next month.
But Smith believes Tricky Gal is good for at least another season of racing.
“She can have a break after Saturday and then it will be on to the spring. There are a lot of black-type races for mares to suit her,” Smith said.
He also has dual acceptor Sweet Thomas in the Group Three Premiers Cup at Doomben and the Listed Stayers Cup at Rosehill.
“I will keep an eye on the weather in Sydney but he will probably stay down here,” Smith said.
A former German stayer, Sweet Thomas hasn’t won for two years but Smith has had a lot of luck switching horses to Brisbane.
His gelding Milk Man, a former French galloper, won his first race in two years at Doomben last week.