Lasqueti Spirit builds to Metropolitan

Lasqueti Spirit at Crown Oaks
Lasqueti Spirit was the shock winner of the 2016 Crown Oaks.

Lasqueti Spirit has a second to Winx on her record, but her trainer is more interested in how the Metropolitan Handicap-bound mare fares against another of trainer Chris Waller’s runners at Randwick.

While the world’s greatest horse on turf can provide a benchmark to how rivals measure up on race day, Rosehill trainer Lee Curtis will use Who Shot Thebarman as a more reliable barometer in Saturday’s Group Two Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).

“We’ll get a pretty good guide off a horse like Who Shot Thebarman. We’ve always finished quite close to him in these races.

“If we’re anywhere round him and he’s going all right we’ll be happy.”

Veteran Who Shot Thebarman races for the first time since he was runner-up to Polarisation in the Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) in April.

Lasqueti Spirit led by a substantial margin for much of the Sydney Cup before tiring to trail the winner by 40 lengths.

Who Shot Thebarman and Lasqueti Spirit also crossed paths last preparation in The BMW, Sky High Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes in which Lasqueti Spirit finished two lengths second to Winx.

Curtis was not predicting Lasqueti Spirit to replicate that result second-up because Randwick presents a good track not the helpful heavy she encountered in February.

“I’m not expecting another second. I’m expecting her to be competitive in her own right,” Curtis said.

Lasqueti Spirit resumed with a subdued effort in the Listed Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury on August 24, when she finished last, eight lengths behind the winner Arbeitsam.

“She’s got a shocking first-up record because the race was too short. She’s one-paced with no turn of foot,” Curtis said.

That racing make-up has meant Lasqueti Spirit setting the pace in many of her races to try to resist the chasers, a strategy that worked in the VRC Oaks last spring but not in the Sydney Cup.

“If you ride her quiet she’ll just run last. We’ll be going forward to some extent but there won’t be a massive tearaway,” Curtis said.

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