Epsom Handicap day has proven to be Secret Admirer‘s day with trainer Grahame Begg believing he has the five year old primed to take out back to back victories in the famous 1600m Group 1 at Randwick on Saturday.
Secret Admirer’s two Group 1 victories have been over the ‘mile’ at Randwick and the time is right for the five year old to return to the winner’s list after not winning a race since beating Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker in last year’s Group 1 $500,000 Racingnetwork.com.au Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
Epsom Handicap day also saw Secret Admirer win her first Group 1 race in 2010 beating More Strawberries in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes over 1600m and Saturday’s recipe is looking good for a return to the winner’s stall.
“I think she’s peaking at the right time,” Begg said.
“Her coat has really come on in the past two weeks.”
Along with the fact that Secret Admirer seems to peak at this time of the year, Begg is very pleased with the mare’s progress since finishing third behind stablemates Shoot Out and Rangirangdoo in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22 and her midweek gallop has buoyed Begg’s confidence for Saturday.
Secret Admirer has filled the placings at her three runs from a spell and as well as her consistent form and good trackwork, Begg is also banking on reverting back to Handicap conditions giving her every chance of to regain the winning feeling.
“She has trained on well since her last start, she’s back to a handicap and we thought she galloped very, very well this morning,” Begg said after Secret Admirer’s Tuesday morning Randwick course proper workout.
“She did the normal short, sharp work and up the running she strode out really well.”
“The thing with her is that we want to get her back winning.”
“We don’t know whether it’s been the pace of the race that’s been coming against her a little bit, or the weight-for-age. The other day it was a bit farcically-run in the middle stages and then they really pinged. She only got beaten two-and-a-half lengths.”
“We thought we’d give her a chance to get back to a handicap and it’s at Randwick which she loves. She’s also won a Group One on this day in the past two years.”
Even though Secret Admirer hasn’t won for twelve months, the five year old has been placed five times in Group 1 company since last year’s Epsom Handicap.
Top Kiwi rider James McDonald, who was aboard Secret Admirer when second two starts back to Danleigh in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday September 8, looks likely to replace Corey Brown who was aboard the mare in the George Main Stakes.