Should an end-of-season retirement become a reality for Two Blue, trainer Kristen Buchanan is going to give her best horse every chance to bow out at the highest level.
Two Blue will take an important step towards making that plan possible in the $175,000 Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
“She is a rising eight-year-old mare and we’re not going to get a lot more time with her,” Buchanan said.
“I’d say she’ll be off to the breeding barn after this season and I don’t see any point to die wondering.
“She’s certainly not giving me any indication she wants to be a broodmare but her value will be higher if she goes to stud.”
With that in mind, Buchanan will send Two Blue to Queensland for a Brisbane winter carnival campaign starting with the BTC Cup against Group One weight-for-age sprinters at Doomben.
And Buchanan is hoping Two Blue and jockey Paul King come out of the Group Three race at Hawkesbury with a reference to match her ambition.
“This race will really tell us a lot,” Buchanan said.
“We’ll see what she can do at Hawkesbury with a bit more weight on her back and that will determine what races we target in Queensland.”
After giving Buchanan the most important win of her training career in the Group Two Sapphire Stakes on April 9 at Randwick, Two Blue will have 59kg at Hawkesbury.
It’s a 5kg increase from Randwick where she defied every challenge to post a clear-cut win to end a frustrating sequence of placings in stakes races.
Buchanan is banking on natural improvement to counter any perceived disadvantage on the scale of weights.
“She’s definitely not at her top yet and I do expect to see her improve throughout her preparation,” Buchanan said.
“I don’t train her particularly hard. She’s had some soundness issues in the past and I let her racing get her into condition rather than pushing her too hard in trackwork.”
Five of Chris Waller’s six acceptors in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup have drawn double-figure barriers in a capacity field of 16 and four emergencies for the $200,000 race.
Front-running Strawberry Boy seems certain to be the most favoured of the leading trainer’s team after resuming with a last-start Randwick placing to Mighty Lucky.
A field of 11 three-year-olds has been declared for the Hawkesbury Guineas with Peter and Paul Snowden having weight of numbers after paying up for Serene Majesty, Suspense and Denpurr.