Hurtle Myrtle has earned herself plenty of fans over the Brisbane Winter carnival and she could even go as far as Group 1 level this weekend in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Formerly known as the Winter Stakes, it would be an amazing journey for the horse and one that trainer Mathew Smith would love to enjoy.
She announced herself on the scene with a last start win in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm.
In that run she took care of plenty of top quality mares and put herself in a great position for this Saturday at Eagle Farm.
There are a few notable exceptions though and she’ll need to be right on the top of her game if she’s to triumph at the top level.
Smith says he’s done everything he can to produce the horse at 100 percent and he’s happy where she’s sitting at the moment.
“She looks well, condition looks good,” he said.
“I was really happy with her work this morning, she was nice and bright on the track.”
Hurtle Myrtle is currently training on the Sunshine Coast where some recent fine weather has started to dry out the track.
“The track up here does get quite wet with all the rain but they’ve had a good week,” Smith said.
“She pulled up super afterwards.”
He says that she’s a horse which needs a bit fo a gap between her runs and the Tiara will probably pop up at the perfect time.
“Her last three runs having that three week break or even a month just suits her,” he said,
“She takes a week to get over her runs, it just suits her to race that way.”
Hurtle Myrtle enjoyed a tremendous run in the Dane Ripper and was given every chance to hit the line strongly.
She still had to produce it when it mattered though and Smith was stoked to finally see her true capability.
“Going back through her form I can’t remember at any stage getting that nice run two or three back,” he said.
“She certainly needs a bit of room to get going.”
Smith knows that it’s a genuine step up in quality this weekend and facing one of Australia’s most consistent horses isn’t going to be easy.
“I don’t think there’s much between a lot of the runners, apart from Beaded who looks like clearly the best mare there,” he said.
“I think being realistic about it Hurtle Myrtle is a good chance in the race, if we get a good run she’ll be there in the finish.”
There will be no change in rider either with Brenton Avdulla to retain her for her maiden Group 1 start.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way he rode her that day,” Smith said.
The weather over Brisbane has been pretty much perfect for the last fortnight and there hasn’t been a cloud in the sky this week.
It’s expected that Eagle Farm will water the turf a bit over the next few days and Smith is hoping they give it a healthy dose.
“I think it’s very important for her to get the cut in the ground,” he said.
“The track up there the other day was beautiful, if they can present it in the same way we’ll be a chance.
“There’s not much between them, I think it’s going to be a great race.”
Like the vast majority this will be the last start for Hurtle Myrtle this campaign before spelling ahead of a spring assault.
“This’ll be it, take her home after this and all going well we might take her to Melbourne,” Smith said.