It has been a gradual process but trainer Wendy Roche believes tricky mare Marabel is ready to show her sprinting days are behind her.
Roche has considered options for the four-year-old since her unplaced run in the Group Three Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone and settled on Wednesday’s Ranvet Handicap (1900m).
Marabel was nominated for a 2000m-race at Rosehill last Saturday, but Warwick Farm-based Roche opted against a seven-day back-up.
“I don’t think she’s a sprinter. I think she’s a mile to 2000-metre horse, so this is a chance to find out,” Roche said.
The mare has raced between 1200m to 1400m over her nine-race career and Roche admits it is still challenging to map out a future campaign for Marabel given her behavioural issues and a bleeding attack last September.
“You can’t scope her, drench her, you can’t really pace her much,” Roche said.
“I’ve got to go on what she looks like and she looks like she’s recovered well from Scone.”
Marabel was eighth in the Dark Jewel Classic, 3-1/4 lengths from the winner Siren’s Fury, a performance that left Roche far from despondent.
“She was the widest runner and 11th on the turn. She did quite well in a Group Three,” she said.
Roche and partner John Crowley bought Marabel from breeder Peter Moran after she bled when second in a benchmark race at Warwick Farm in September when trained by Joe Pride.
“Peter gives his problem horses to me. When I got her she was very naughty. Her manners on the track were very nervous,” Roche said.
Marabel was a $13 chance with the TAB on Tuesday with the Chris Waller-trained Tunero leading the market at $3.50.
Roche added Nettoyer, who was among the defections from last Saturday’s Doomben Cup, was having a let-up before her next target was decided.
The mare was second in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on May 5 and Roche said she would not head north until there had been “considerable rain”.