Top Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon admitted Mosheen (Fastnet Rock) relieved some pressure on herself with her return to form in Saturday’s Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) at Flemington.
Mosheen won four Group 1 races during her three-year-old season but a minor throat issue that required surgery ended her Cox Plate prospects.
A slower than expected recovery from the common operation resulted in two lacklustre performances at Flemington and Caulfield before Mosheen found her best form in the Blazer Stakes.
A polished ride from new regular rider Nick Hall gave Mosheen every chance as the daughter of Fastnet Rock enjoyed a saloon passage behind the leaders before joining the pacesetters with 300 metres to run.
Mosheen asserted her class over the final 100 metres to win comfortably to Smerdon’s relief.
“I was a bit anxious as they were going to the gates because I thought things had been heading in the right direction,” Smerdon said. “At home she’d progressed and she was looking for this and she’s got a great Flemington record but in the back of your mind she’s been pretty plain the last couple of runs.
“While we thought she was getting there, today was an acid test.”
Mosheen defeated Bonaria (Redoute’s Choice) by 1-1/4 lengths while Miss Stellabelle (Dehere) finished another short head away in third. The field covered the 1400 metres in 1:23.47, which included a 33.82-second last 600 metres. Mosheen started at a $4.60 favourite on track but paid $4.20 on the Victorian TAB.
Smerdon said he still had Group 1 plans for Mosheen for the remainder of the spring with the Myer Classic shaping as the perfect race for the mare during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
“We’d like to think she can be at her peak in four weeks time for the Myer Classic,” Smerdon said.
“I understated the time she’d had off serious training and it dawned on me eventually that we weren’t going to get to that aim (Cox Plate) so we had to redirect ourselves.”
“Her throat is perfect and the operation has been 100% successful so it’s just been about getting her fit.”
Mosheen’s latest success was her eighth from 17startsand took her prizemoney tally to more than $2.7 million for her owners – Mr P S Sly, Mr K Yoshida, Ms J M Mccauchey, Miss S E Sly, Mr P S Kelly, Miss B J Sly, Mr J H Kreuzer, Mr B A Wilson.