Trainer Kim Waugh is testing promising filly French Bonnet as a potential ATC Australian Oaks contender at Warwick Farm.
French Bonnet, impressive winner of her last two starts at Wyong and Newcastle, makes her city debut in the Frosted At Darley Handicap (1400m).
“We are hoping she might be an Oaks filly,’’ Waugh said. “This race will be a test for her, she still has to prove herself but potentially she could be a very good filly.
“She is a lovely filly blessed with a great turn of foot, but on her breeding, she could get two miles (3200m).’’
Trainer Kim Waugh has big autumn plans for French Bonnet. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
French Bonnet, a grey three-year-old filly by former top stayer Puissance De Lune, while her dam, Bonny Heights, is a direct descendant of one of New Zealand racing’s most celebrated, stamina-laden families that includes Battle Heights, Mapperley Heights and Royal Heights.
But French Bonnet has demonstrated natural speed and impressive acceleration to score emphatic wins over 1200m at successive provincial starts.,
TAB Fixed Odds price assessors have respect for French Bonnet’s obvious potential and have installed her as the $3.30 favourite to beat a handy field of three-year-olds.
“She is a good doer and pulls up well after every run,’’ Waugh said. “I’m sure she will appreciate 1400m, too.’’
Waugh is taking two runners to the Warwick Farm midweeks and could easily leave with a brace of wins as Celer ($6) looks hard to beat in the closer, the Vinery Stud Handicap (1200m).
Celer has finished second in successive Warwick Farm 1200m races this summer and gets his chance to score a deserved win.
Waugh had also entered Celer for another benchmark 72 at 1400m at today’s meeting but she elected to start her gelding in the shorter race after he drew well in barrier four.
“He is going really well, he’s a happy horse, working great and eating well, feeling good in himself,’’ Waugh said. “He should run another good race.’’
Trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou have a strong presence at the Warwick Farm meeting including Sally’s Day ($4.40) and Hyannis Port ($10) in the Bowerman’s Commercial Furniture Handicap (1100m).
Sally’s Day has shaped well in three runs this campaign and is coming out of Saturday city class while Hyannis Port is resuming off some promising barrier trial efforts.
Trainer Gerald Ryan hopes to continue his stable’s good form at Warwick Farm. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I think Sally’s Day is going well enough to win but she does make it difficult for herself given her pattern of racing,’’ Ryan said. “She needs everything to go right – the speed on up front and I don’t like her to get too far back as she only has a short, sharp run.
“Hyannis Port has improved ‘heaps’. She’s a bit like her mother, Mrs Onassis, who improved as she got older. Her trial the other day was really good and I can see her running a competitive race.’’
Ryan’s carnival ambitions for another of his stale’s big improvers, Never Never River, is also on the line when he takes on French Bonnet in the Frosted At Darley Handicap.
“Never Never River is a horse we have always had an opinion of and he is going well this preparation,’’ Ryan said. “This race will tells us where to go with him but he might be a South Pacific Classic or Carbine Club Stakes horse.’’
The Ryan-Alexiou stable also has juvenile first starter Gulf Of Thailand in the Stud And Stable Staff Awards Plate (1300m) and Coterie resuming in the TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1400m).
“Gulf Of Thailand has got better each trial and the 1300m will suit him.’’ Ryan said. “Coterie is coming along nicely but he’s a gross horse and usually needs a run to hit his straps.’’
Originally published asWarwick Farm preview: Waugh tests Bonnet’s Oaks potential
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