Mosheen, ridden by Nicholas Hall, wins the Blazer Stakes. Photo: Ken Irwin
A REJUVENATED Mosheen got her spring carnival back on track and is now eyeing a fifth group 1 win in four weeks after proving too classy for fellow mares in yesterday's group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington.
Mosheen began the spring as one of the Cox Plate favourites but after two lacklustre runs to begin her campaign, trainer Robert Smerdon revised her preparation as he knew he was struggling to get the horse to peak fitness after a throat operation held up her progress.
''I must admit I was anxious [as the field was] going to the gates,'' he said. ''She'd been heading in the right direction in her work and she has a great Flemington record, but at the back of my mind was that she'd been pretty plain at her last couple, so it's great to go out and see them do it.
''Today was an acid test for her and look, she got all the favours from a good gate and she had a lovely run, but they've still got to finish off and so it was very pleasing to see her do it.''
On hand to watch Mosheen snare her eighth win was part-owner Phil Sly, who was operated on for cancer only a week ago.
After enjoying a soft run behind the speed, jockey Nicholas Hall eased out Mosheen ($4.60 favourite) and she chased down the leaders before forging clear to win by 1¼ length over the fast-finishing Bonaria ($41), with a short head to Miss Stellabelle ($17) third.
The other favoured runner, Soft Sand ($5), missed the start and never recovered.
Smerdon said he expected yesterday's run, with topweight of 58.5 kilograms, would bring Mosheen on. ''There's improvement to come … I underestimated how much work she'd lost when she had the throat operation and it's taken until now for her to get anywhere near fit.
''We've still got plenty to work with - her body weight tells us that - so I'd expect her to be better again in two weeks when we go to the Tristarc Stakes and then spot-on hopefully for the [group 1] Myer Classic [at Flemington] two weeks later.''