After waiting patiently for Nettoyer to recover from injury, Wendy Roche realises success at black-type level will not be instantaneous for her more mature mare.
The four-year-old will run in the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic, her first race since she trounced her rivals by 10 lengths on a heavy Randwick track over 2000m last June.
“She’s in the 1200 as a stepping stone to see where she’s at. She’s looking for a mile to 2000,” Roche said.
Nettoyer had been aimed at the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) last winter but was instead confined to her box at Warwick Farm for 13 weeks after fracturing a hip.
Although disappointed by the setback, trainer and owner Roche said the lay-off was positive in terms of Nettoyer’s condition and mental development ahead of her first black-type outing.
Nettoyer piled on 60 kilograms and her attitude now matches that healthy appetite.
A fractious nature that meant she was excluded from early morning track work at Warwick Farm has eased, while added muscle has boosted her turn of foot now she weighs in at 537kg.
“She’s not barred any more. She used to go out at 8.45, now she gets worked at 4am,” Roche said.
“She’s a lot easier, temperament-wise. She’s obviously matured a lot.
“It’s no longer a matter of having to please her. She’s fitted into the regime a lot better this preparation.”
Roche, who bought Nettoyer for $20,000 with partner John Crowley at the Inglis Easter sale in 2015, trialled her at Rosehill on January 22 and was pleasantly surprised by her second to Ready For Success.
“She went better than I thought. I asked Rachel (King) to jump her out and hopefully finish midfield but she had other ideas,” she said.
Providing Nettoyer comes through well, she will target the Group Two Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on February 24 or the Group Two Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a week later.
The Roche and Crowley-owned three-year-old gelding Salvador also runs second-up in the Inglis Sprint (1100m) on Saturday.