Griffiths mares face tough Sandown battle

Trainer Robbie Griffiths says there are a few hurdles to clear if he is to claim a stakes race victory with one of his two mares engaged at Sandown.

The Cranbourne-based horseman has Deja Blue and Divine Quality set to clash in Saturday’s Group Three Summoned Stakes.

Griffiths says Deja Blue hasn’t had an ideal 1500m-preparation while Divine Quality has drawn poorly.

Deja Blue missed a start at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day after playing up in the barriers.

It resulted in the mare having to go back to the Cranbourne trials for a barrier certificate.

“It was a triple whammy for the owners,” Griffiths said.

“They lost Cup day, I had to scratch Oaks day and then I couldn’t accept for the Saturday because she needed a barrier certificate.

“It’s not a good preparation trialling Tuesday, going into a 1500-metre race when you’ve never run that distance and on an interrupted prep.”

Countering that, Griffiths says the mare is in top order, has drawn a good barrier and if the race was 100m shorter he would have a greater level of confidence.

Griffiths said he was still considering options with Divine Quality including skipping Saturday to find a lesser grade contest with a view to stakes races in the autumn.

“Her Flemington run was good but I don’t know where she’ll end up from barrier 14,” Griffiths said.

“If she gets back, she runs on but makes up the numbers and finishes fifth, sixth or seventh.

“If she goes forward she could get trapped wide, so I don’t know where she’s going to end up.

“I’m tossing up whether to go into a race like this or look for something else and revisit the autumn.

“Maybe the Bow Mistress in Tasmania or the Geoffrey Bellmaine at Caulfield could be options.

“I’ll have a look at her blood picture and the whole package and work out what to do.”

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