Queen ready for the prom
Had Saturday's Gr.1 gavehouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) preceded the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas rather than following it seven days later, Riccarton racegoers might have had two chances to enjoy glamour filly Prom Queen.
Ruakaka trainer Kenny Rae has revealed that while his prime target for the daughter of Super Easy had always been the 1000 Guineas, he would have loved the opportunity to take on the boys as well.
|Prom Queen Photo: Race Images South|
The 1000 Guineas switched to the last day in 2009, having previously been run on the first day of New Zealand Cup week with the 2000 Guineas on the final day.
Ironically, that was the year Katie Lee became the only horse to win both Guineas races.
"She beat Age Of Fire at Ashburton last time and he's gone on and finished second in the 2000 Guineas so that says she would have been competitive," said Rae, who trains in partnership with his wife Lisa and daughter Krystal Williams.
"The fillies race has always been her grand final and I'm mindful that I can't do too much with her between races because she's only little so we couldn't risk her. But I might have run her in both if they ran the fillies’ race then the colts."
TAB bookmakers have Prom Queen at $1.60 to win the 1000 Guineas, with Dijon Bleu ($4.20) and Swing Note ($8) the only other runners below $17 in the market.
A winner of eight of her nine starts, the last six in a row, Prom Queen was a brilliant 2 1/4-length winner of the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) last start in her first test beyond 1200m, with three-year-olds the quality of Sensei, Age Of Fire and Savvy Coup in her wake.
"I wouldn't have minded too much if she had got beaten because I really rated Sensei and I thought it won't worry me being beaten by the colts because they're not in my grand final," Rae said.
"But what she did was mind-boggling. It was good to see her do it like that at 1400m, but the race that I was most worried about was her first run back at Ruakaka because sometimes the best two-year-olds don't come back as good three-year-olds.
"It's scary. What she's doing has been almost too good to be true."
Rae needed not worry as Prom Queen was never out of second gear in scoring by six lengths and she has continued to power away from her rivals in two starts since.
Her progress since Ashburton has given him no cause for concern either.
"She seems fine. She's pretty relaxed in her work. She's hard to get a line on because she's pretty lazy in trackwork. She's like a kid's pony," Rae said.
"I wouldn't say her trackwork is any better than it has been going into her other races, but it doesn't have to be either."
Rae was unsure what path Prom Queen would follow through the summer, but indicated the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 15 was one possibility and ruled out a tilt at the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1.
The stable also has Inanna as a worthy candidate for the 1000 Guineas and will produce Kaharau in the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m). - NZ Racing Desk.