After going down as the beaten favourite in Perth over the weekend Angelic Light will go home to Melbourne and spell ahead of a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival return targeting the William Reid Stakes 2015.
The Holy Roman Emperor five-year-old travelled over to WA on the back of a stellar spring in Victoria including her second behind the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
That was her fourth straight run at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit, her strong run at the track including a win over her subsequent Manikato conqueror and Darley Classic winner Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 Mittys McEwen Stakes (1000m).
She went out as the $2.80 favourite in Perth’s $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) then and looked like she would be finishing in the money along with fellow eastern state raider, last year’s runner-up Moment Of Change after they sat at the front on the straight.
But the locals came from behind and stormed home to run an all-local Winterbottom Stakes trifecta, Angelic Light holding on to finish two and three-quarter lengths away fifth behind Perth-trained mare Magnifisio in the sprint.
The trip and her run proved to her Cranbourne-based trainer Robbie Griffiths that she was better suited at home, especially at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Also working against his and jockey Damien Oliver’s Winterbottom Stakes plan was the quicker than expected tempo set by Moment Of Change who they trailed into the race.
“I thought she was below her best and the two factors that I saw (as factors) were that she was uncomfortable in the straight and possibly the leader (Moment of Change) went a bit solid and we didn’t want to let him get away from us,” Griffiths told Racing Victoria.
“We didn’t know this beforehand, but coming off an injury prior to this prep it looks like the Moonee Valley Strath Ayr is an important part of her game plan now.”
His plans are to spell her now and then come back during the Melbourne Festival of Racing targeting the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 27 under the lights at her pet track where she should appreciate the cushion that was missing from last Saturday’s Ascot course.
“I don’t think the track was soft enough for her,” Griffiths added.
“There was nothing wrong with the track, it just wasn’t necessarily soft enough for her liking.
“It wasn’t prepared badly, it was actually a beautiful track and I didn’t think that it would be a topic I’d be talking about, but looking at her action in the straight she certainly wasn’t as comfortable there as what she has been at Moonee Valley.”
While the William Reid Stakes is the long-term target, plans are up in the air as to where she will kick off that campaign next year.
“Exactly when she’ll return is hard to say because we’ll see how she spells naturally, but on the agenda will be the William Reid because of her affinity with Moonee Valley,” Griffiths confirmed.
Bookmark this site for all the latest on the 2015 William Reid Stakes.
Before then make sure you enjoy the summer racing season online at Ladbrokes.com.au where first time players are eligible for a juicy bonus bet offer!