Secret Admirer will bypass Caulfield Cup for Epsom

Secret Admirer will bypass the Caulfield Cup with trainer Grahame Begg leaning towards the mare staying in Sydney to defend her crown in the Group 1 $500,000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 6.

Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer will stay in Sydney to defend her Epsom Handicap crown. Photo by: Steve Hart

Begg is favouring keeping last year’s Epsom Handicap winner to 1600m this Spring and ruling out the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 would free up Secret Admirer to tackle the 1600m races over the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“She is still paid up for everything, we are not entirely ruling anything out but we are looking at our options,” Begg said.

“The Caulfield Cup is only two weeks after the Epsom and the Cox Plate is three. There is also a chance we could go from the Epsom to the Myer Classic and on to the Emirates, they are all over a mile and I wouldn’t have a problem giving her a month freshen-up in between runs if I had to.”

Secret Admirer hasn’t entered the winner’s stall since taking out last year’s Epsom Handicap and Begg is looking to his best options to get his Group 1 winning mare back in the winning list.

“I’m just keen to get her back to winning form and need to find the best races to do so.”

Both of Secret Admirer’s Group 1 wins have been over 1600m and as well as the Epsom, the mare showed her liking for Randwick by taking out the 2010 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes at headquarters.

With this in mind, Begg is eyeing off the $500,000 Myer Classic at Flemington on November 3 and the $1m Emirates Stakes at Flemington on November 10, both Group 1s run over her favourite distance of 1600m.

Even though Secret Admirer hasn’t won for twelve months, the five year old has been placed five times in Group 1 company and showed she is not far off the pace with a third when ridden by Corey Brown to Shoot Out in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22.

With Brown already committed to the Chris Waller trained Said Com for the Epsom, Begg’s was quick to secure the services of 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 8.

“Corey Brown was already committed to Said Com so we had to look for another rider as it was a bit of a late change of plans from our end,” Begg said.

Secret Admirer is on the third line of betting with the Waller trained Rangirangdoo at $11 in the Epsom Handicap with early markets having the Gai Waterhouse trained Fat Al the favourite at $4.80 ahead of George Main winner Shoot Out at $6.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.