Glory Days will step out onto Flemington for the first time on Saturday and her connections are hoping she can return to the Melbourne track on the first Tuesday of November. The recently crowned New Zealand Champion Stayer is on a Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) path with her first Australian assignment being the Vale Russell Cameron (1700m).
The Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) placegetter arrived in Melbourne on Sunday and trainer Bill Thurlow has been pleased with the way she has settled in to her new surroundings. “She travelled over really well, is eating well and looks good,” Thurlow said. “I worked her this (Wednesday) morning and I couldn’t be happier, she is doing really well.”
Glory Days had the one start in New Zealand prior to crossing the Tasman and Thurlow admitted the run on a Heavy11 track at Otaki took a toll. “We did have a hiccup with the race at Otaki,” he said. “That probably did set us back a little bit.” The seven-year-old daughter of Red Giant rebounded with a trial win over 1600m at Foxton earlier this month and Thurlow is happy with his mare heading into her Australian targets.
Glory Days is set to carry 60.5 kilograms on Saturday and while Thurlow doesn’t expect his mare to win, he would like to see her finishing the race off strongly. “She has got a lot of weight and she is only a little mare,” he said. “I honestly couldn’t see her winning on Saturday but if she is just running on well I would be happy.”
Thurlow has secured the talents of Craig Williams for Saturday and he is hoping to retain the services of the top-class jockey this spring. “That would be nice, but there are a huge number of Europeans out here and a lot of very good horses, but I am sure if she races well she will be considered by him.”
The remainder of Glory Days’ spring campaign hasn’t been set in stone, but Thurlow would like to avoid the top tier horses until the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups where she has been allocated 52.5kg and 52kg respectively. “Her next two starts will be reasonably crucial, but she should be going close in those I would think,” he said.
“There’s a good chance she could go to the Benalla (Gold) Cup and then we’ll just see. There are some other options that weekend, but I have always planned to keep her away from the very best until I have to run against them.”