Having set classy three-year-old Fontein Ruby for the feature race at the beginning of her current preparation, trainer Robert Smerdon has revealed Ungrateful Ellen will also take her place in Saturday’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) as a final point of call ahead of her season swansong.
Posting two wins and a further three minors through her nine career starts so far, Ungrateful Ellen returned to racing for a credible third in the Andy’s Earthmovers BM64 (1400m) on April 2nd before pulling clear to take out the Anzac Centenary Cup (1600m) by half a length a fortnight later.
Pleased with the condition of both runners leading into the weekend’s South Australian feature, Smerdon told Racing Victoria the Group 3 South Australian Fillies Classic (2500m) has been underlined as Ungrateful Ellen’s major target and the 2015 Australasian Oaks looks to figure as an ideal step only a fortnight prior.
“She’s heading towards the South Australian Fillies Classic two weeks later but this is a good step for her along the way,” Smerdon said.
“I think she’s only been getting warmed up in her last couple of runs and the 2000 will suit her, even if she could run fourth in a race like that it would be good for her CV.
“Fontein Ruby has the score on the board but Ungrateful Ellen was terrific in the Sandown Guineas last year and we’ve been looking to get her out to this trip.”
Unable to handle the heavy going when fifth in her racing debut over 1000m at Echuca in August, Ungrateful Ellen quickly found competitive condition in finishing third in the Bill Power Maiden Plate (1170m) and securing a maiden win in the Ords Motorcycles Ararat Maiden (1300m) on September 19th.
Placing a credible fourth in her Metropolitan debut over 1400m on October 12th, the Grey Swallow filly finished second in the Callaghan Motors BM70 (1600m) and ended her campaign an impressive fourth behind the likes of Petrology and Stratum Star in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on November 15th.
The 2015 Australasian Oaks final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today (April 28th).
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