Smith dreams of Oaks

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

STAR POWER: Newcastle trainer Ben Smith with group 1 winners In Her Time and El Dorado Dreaming. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNewcastle trainer Ben Smith believes the biggest test in Saturday’s group 1Champagne Stakes will be which horsecan handle the Randwick mile.

And with El Dorado Dreaming, Smith thinks he has the one to do it.

The filly became the rags-to-riches story ofday one of the Championships when she swooped down the outside at odds of 100-1 to steal the$1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

Out of an in-foal mare owner-breederYvette Pearce bought for $35,000, El Dorado Dreaming will chase a remarkable group 1 two-year-old double in the$500,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m).

She was $10 with TAB Fixed Odds after drawing gate seven and Smith could not fault her conditions 11 days after her fairytale win.

”She galloped super and pulled up a treat from a run on the course proper on Tuesday,” Smith said.“She’s put a couple of kilos onsince the race. She’s worked really well, I’ve pulled blood with her, had the chiro look at her. We’re looking for an excuse to tip her out and we just can’t find one.

“She’s just impressive so I’m really looking forward to Saturday and if she can do it again.

“It’s always in the back of your mind, winning a group 1 at that price, was it a one-off? Hopefully it’s not and we can really show she’s a top-line horse.”

Asked if the Champagne Stakeswas a tougher test for El Dorado Dreaming, Smith said:“I think the mile is the biggest query for everyone.

“A lot of the horses are untested over the mile and for two-year-olds, the mile is a pretty hard task, so I think it’s a matter of who’s going to handle it better.”

Smith believed El Dorado Dreaming would run the mile on Saturday, and possibly well beyond as a three-year-old.

“I think she will handle it,” he said.“She’s by Ilovethiscity, and he won a group 1 Epsom over a mile, and she’s out of a Zabeel mare. It’s going to be a dry track and I think she’ll handle it.

“If she does, that will make our job easier in planning the spring. If she can run a strong mile, obviously we might have a crack and see if she can run an Oaks [2500m] trip.

“They are ambitious plans, but we’ll know more after Saturday as to how she goes and how shehandles the trip.”

Smith believed gate seven would be an ideal spotfor jockey Jason Collett to give El Dorado Dreaming a quiet ride and set up for another flying finish.

Also in the Champagne Stakes, fellow Newcastle trainer Paul Perry has Ragged Rascal out of gate 13. Seabrook, which is part-owned by Newcastle’s Tony Price, was favourite from gate 12 at $5.

in the other group 1 feature at Randwick, the $600,000 group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), Newcastle trainerKris Lees has Le Romain from gate 13 as an $8.50 chance and Clearly Innocent at $23 from barrier seven.

Perry’s group 1-winner The Mission was $23 from gate three.

Hunter-based syndicators Australian Bloodstock have Brave Smash ($8) and Red Cardinal ($101) in the event.

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