The current COVID-19 situation has created a unique situation for this year’s Australian Spring carnival, and for Group 1 stayer Sentimental Miss.
While it was always the intention to send Sentimental Miss over the ditch to chase black type, lockdown and the lack of northern hemisphere arrivals has certainly assisted her programme.
Says Go Racing principal Albert Bosma, “It was always the long term plan for her to go to Australia for her 5YO season. Given COVID-19, it now looks like it will be the least depth to spring racing in Australia for a long while, perhaps since the equine flu. There will be a limit on northern hemisphere horses coming down and restrictions on horses moving inter-state.”
And that is good news for Sentimental Miss’ plans.
“She’s last year’s Oaks winner. We purposely gave her a light 4YO campaign and didn’t step her up to the 2400 metres even though it’s her best distance. She still managed to win a Listed 2000 metre race last year on a good track. While she’s fine on good tracks, on rain affected tracks, she grows another leg. So if we can strike a wet track over 2400 m or further – that is her nirvana – she really comes into her own.”
“We have worked really closely with trainer Lisa Latta to prepare for the spring. She had a jumpout last week at Levin and Lisa is really happy with her, saying she’s even stronger this year. Unfortunately given the COVID-19 situation Lisa can’t travel with her so a joint and amicable decision has been made to send her to Chris Waller for this preparation.”
She travels on Tuesday the 11th of August and is likely to trial on the 18th of August ahead of resuming at the races.
Having Australia’s leading trainer to prepare the mare is ideal and has come about due to a long standing relationship.
“Chris is rapt to be getting her and the feeling is mutual. With stables in both Sydney and Melbourne, we won’t face any issues with restrictions on staff movements.”
Sentimental Miss will go to Sydney first. “They are experiencing a very wet winter so this should be ideal for her.” When she is ready she will move to Melbourne where there are plenty of staying races throughout the spring and valuable Australian black type beckons to add to her broodmare value.
Sentimental Miss has already qualified for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and has been allocated a kind 51.5 kilos in both those races. This is the stuff of dreams for the owners, Albert and the Go Racing team. “We are just so excited to have a Go Racing horse targeting these iconic races. With a wet track she may just make those dreams come true.”