Prom Queen ready for 1000 Guineas

HAD Saturday’s Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas preceded the 2000 Guineas rather than follow it, Riccarton racegoers might have had two chances to enjoy glamour filly Prom Queen.

Ruakaka trainer Kenny Rae revealed that while his prime target for the daughter of Super Easy had always been the 1000 Guineas, he would have loved the opportunity to take on the boys as well.

The 1000 Guineas switched to the last day in 2009, having previously been run on the first day of New Zealand Cup week with the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas on the final day.

Coincidentally, that was the year Katie Lee became the only horse to win both Guineas races.

Rae believes Prom Queen would have been in with a shot of being highly competitive in both races.

“She beat Age Of Fire at Ashburton last time and he’s gone on and finished second in the 2000 Guineas so that says she would have been competitive,” the trainer said.

“The fillies race has always been her grand final and I’m mindful that I can’t do too much with her between races because she’s only little so we couldn’t risk her. But I might have run her in both if they ran the fillies’ race then the colts.”

Sportsbet has Prom Queen as the $1.60 favourite to win the 1000 Guineas.

A winner of eight of its nine starts – including the last six in a row – Prom Queen was a brilliant two and a quarter length winner in the Group Three Barneswood Farm Stakes last start in the horse’s first test beyond 1200m, with three-year-olds the quality of Sensei, Age Of Fire and Savvy Coup in its wake.

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“I wouldn’t have minded too much if she had got beaten because I really rated Sensei and I thought it won’t worry me being beaten by the colts because they’re not in my grand final,” Rae said.

“But what she did was mind-boggling. It was good to see her do it like that at 1400m, but the race that I was most worried about was her first run back at Ruakaka because sometimes the best two-year-olds don’t come back as good three-year-olds.

“It’s scary. What she’s doing has been almost too good to be true.”

Rae consternation was misplaced as Prom Queen never had to get out of second gear in scoring by six lengths. The filly has powered away from its rivals in two starts since.

Prom Queen’s progress since Ashburton has given him no cause for concern either.

“She seems fine,” the trainer said.

“She’s pretty relaxed in her work.

“She’s hard to get a line on because she’s pretty lazy in trackwork. She’s like a kid’s pony. I wouldn’t say her trackwork is any better than it has been going into her other races, but it doesn’t have to be either.”

Rae was unsure what path Prom Queen would follow through the summer, but indicated the Group One Levin Classic at Trentham on January 15 was one possibility and ruled out a tilt at the Group One Sistema Railway at Ellerslie on January 1.

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