Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Star pacing mare Savvy Bromac will be on trial for a trip to Sydney when she resumes after a seven-week absence in the $26,000 Simmonds Steel Decorative Screens Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred five-year-old faces a stern test from the outside barrier (No. 9) when she will clash with talented three-year-old filly Taking The Miki and several quality mares, including Sheez Our Hope, My Sweet Deal, Aly Shar, Blissfullabbey and My Prayer.
Owner Karl Deiley is keen for Savvy Bromac, a winner at 12 of her 31 starts, to contest the $200,000 Queen Elizabeth Mile for mares at Menangle on Saturday fortnight (February 26), and possibly the $50,000 Robin Dundee Stakes a week earlier.
“If Savvy Bromac can get on a flight to Sydney she will be going to Sydney for the big races for mares,” said trainer Nathan Turvey. “We decided not to run her in the Pacing Cup. Instead, we have freshened her up for the Sydney races.
“Karl wants her to run in Sydney. He said this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Whether she’s up to it, we don’t know. She is the class mare in Friday night’s race, but the wide draw makes it hard. She is fast and we will likely rely on her finishing speed.”
Savvy Bromac will be driven by Gary Hall jnr, who replaces the suspended Emily Suvaljko, who has driven the mare 13 times for six wins and three placings. Hall has driven Savvy Bromac four times for two wins and a second placing.
Chris Voak, who will be handling the Ross Olivieri-trained Taking The Miki, said he would be taking a cautious approach.
“Ross nominated Taking The Miki for the event for three-year-olds on Friday night, but he opted to start the filly in this race, knowing that she would draw the No. 1 barrier,” said Voak. “His opinion of her was that the way she has trained on, she would prove very hard to beat, even up against the good mares.
“I thought it was a big call; she will have to be at her best. However, even if she is crossed (at the start) she would still be a good each-way chance.”
In-form reinsman Kyle Harper has chosen to drive Sheez Our Hope ahead of My Sweet Deal (who will be driven by Harper’s father Lindsay).
“It is a very interesting race,” said Kyle Harper. “Even though Taking The Miki is a three-year-old, she can rattle off some pretty good times. So, it’s going to be tricky for the mares drawn wide to make up ground.”
Sheez Our Hope, trained by Mike Cornwall, will start from the outside barrier (No. 3) on the back line. She possesses a brilliant turn of speed, like she revealed two starts ago when she was last at the 600m and charged home to win from Mirragon at a 1.55.9 rate over 2130m.
Taking The Miki is sure to give her rivals something to chase. She won four times as a two-year-old last year and has been placed at her past five starts. Whether she can hold out mares of the calibre of Savvy Bromac, Sheez Our Hope, Aly Shar and My Sweet Deal remains to be seen.