Spellbound back on track
By Jonny Turner
Leading filly Spellbound will attempt to get her summer campaign back on track at Addington tonight.
The Robert Dunn trained 3yr-old put in a performance too bad to be true when she tired from the 600m in Amazing Dream’s Sires Stakes Championship at Alexandra Park, last month.
Spellbound was found to have been suffering from a virus, which did not show up leading in to the group 1 event.
“It was one of those ones that was out of the blue – we couldn’t pick it,” Dunn said.
“She was working great and she was eating great.”
Spellbound returned to Dunn’s Woodend Beach stable after her northern campaign.
The filly has pleased the trainer’s son, John, who manages the southern base and will drive Spellbound from barrier 8 in race 1.
“She seems really good now, Johnny is pretty happy with her,” Dunn said.
“She will obviously need this race this week and then she has the Sales Series race in a couple of weeks.”
“She has drawn out a bit, so I don’t think Johnny will be doing anything drastic at the start, he won’t want to knock her around.”
The Dunn stable start two of the leading chances in race 8 in Spot On and Hayden’s Meddle.
Spot On beat rivals Bettathanfast and Mongolian Cavalry at Addington last week.
“He would have to be a great chance again, it is not much of a different field to last time,” Dunn said.
“He is just a nice horse all round.”
Hayden’s Meddle comes in to the race after running second to his stablemate, Stars Tonight, in the Marlborough Cup.
Star mare Princess Tiffany will have her first start as a 4yr-old in tonight’s group 2 Premier Mares Championship.
The All Stars filly has looked ready to resume when reeling off slick sectionals to win two trials leading in to her resumption.
Despite that, co-trainer and driver Natalie Rasmussen is weary about the task in front of Princess Tiffany.
“She is really well and fit but I am worried about her lack of racing and I fear she could be vulnerable in the late stages because of that,” she said on her stable’s website.
“The leadup race that could have suited her is restricted to keep mares like her out of it.”
Princess Tiffany opened the hot $1.40 favourite for the 1980m feature.
Father and son trainers Peter and Tom Bagrie start two of the main challengers to Princess Tiffany.
Peter lines up Bettor’s Heart from barrier 12 and Pressed For Time starts from barrier 7 for Tom.
Though the mares do their trackwork together, they are difficult to compare as they are contrasting types.
“They are both class mares, I will say mine is the best and Dad will say his is the best,” Tom said.
“It is hard to compare them, because they are different.”
“Pressed For Time is a great stayer and I think she would be able to sustain her speed for a long time.”
“Bettor’s Heart is a sit sprinter that has got a bit tougher over time.”
Bettor’s Heart stuck on well for second after she sat parked outside star mare Belle Of Montana in the group 1 Queen Of Hearts, three starts ago.
The 6yr-old then beat a moderate field at Alexandra Par, before tuning up for tonight’s race with a solid fourth behind rival Enchantee at Addington, last week.
“We were pretty happy with her run last week because she probably needed that run and she should improve a lot from it,” Bagrie said.
Pressed For Time goes in to the Premier Mares Classic after making a perfect two-from-two start to her 4yr-old term.
Though she is already a group 2 winner, tonight’s race will be her toughest career test.
“Obviously there are some nice mares in there and we are optimistic that we will be able to measure up,” Bagrie said.
“She has been working great with Bettor’s Heart.”