By Ray Hickson
Outstanding Perth mares Arcadia Queen and Enticing Star passed their first Sydney test with flying colours in separate Rosehill trials on Tuesday and earned the respect of jockeys James McDonald and Hugh Bowman.
McDonald couldn’t have been more glowing about Group 1 winner Arcadia Queen after guiding her into second place behind Greyworm in an 893m heat on the inside grass.
And, similarly, Bowman was taken aback by Enticing Star’s turn of foot in a slowly run course proper 1000m hitout.
Both mares are owned by leading WA owner-breeder Bob Peters who sent them to trainer Chris Waller with an eye on the Sydney spring riches and on the early evidence both will make their presence felt come the $14m TAB Everest (1200m) in October.
“I’ve ridden (Arcadia Queen) once before and she’s a beautiful mare,’’ McDonald said.
“She did a good job in the trial under no real pressure and came through with flying colours. I like her.’’
The four-year-old has won five of her six starts culminating in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back in December but proved to McDonald she has some sharpness about her.
She runs in the TAB Everest for slot holder The Star and is also in town to chase the inaugural $7.5m The Golden Eagle (1500m) on November 2.
“Her record speaks for itself, only a handful of starts and won most of them,’’ McDonald said.
“She’s building a fantastic record and she feels pretty good to me. She’s a big striding mare, with a bit of pace there and a lot of power.’’
Bowman had the steer on Enticing Star as the six-year-old, a winner of eight of her 10 starts, scored a comfortable win in her heat where she tracked the lead and darted through on the inside.
Her time of 1:01 was much more leisurely, by 2.9 seconds, than Redzel’s some 10 minutes or so earlier.
The acceleration impressed Bowman who told Sky Racing while he’d have expected to see that sprint he is convinced she’s going to be competitive in Sydney.
“It was a pretty slow first quarter or first half so you’d expect any decent sprinter to let go off that sort of pace,’’ he said.
“She’s certainly got an engine. She’s going to make her presence felt judging on what I felt this morning.
“It’s the first time I’ve been on her back, I loved the way she quickened up when I gave her a bit of room.’’
Enticing Star wins her first Sydney trial at Rosehill on Tuesday
Arcadia Queen is an $11 chance with TAB while Enticing Star, who has filled the Chris Waller Racing slot in the Everest, is at $15.
Alongside the latter mare in the market is Nature Strip and McDonald’s comments on his trial, a closing second to Redzel, are interesting as he searches for a slot in Australia’s richest race.
“He did a pretty good job but the tempo of the trial was pretty solid so if he wasn’t going to settle with that pace we were going to have problems,’’ McDonald said.
“But it was a positive. He was good in his action and he pulled up really well.
“He travelled well in behind them, whether Redzel had much up his sleeve I’m not sure but I was comfortable with the way he was going.’’
Nature Strip and Redzel are likely to face off again in a star studded edition of the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on September 7.