Trainer Daniel Bowman isn’t under the same pressure as he was going into last year’s Regal Roller Stakes with his stable star Begood Toya Mother.
Last year, Bowman said the stakes were high as the horse needed to win the 1200 metre Listed sprint to boost his rating high enough to get into the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
History shows Begood Toya Mother ticked both boxes, winning the two races to catapult Bowman into the spotlight.
Bowman is hoping to win both races again this spring but pointed out that Begood Toya Mother is not as forward in fitness as he was last year.
“This is a kick-off point and there’s definitely improvement to come but we’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Bowman said.
“He’s coming off a good spell though, compared to last year where he had been in work the whole time.”
Bowman is pleased with how the six-year-old has returned to racing.
“He’s had a couple of trials. He’s more relaxed and hopefully that’s a sign that he’ll get a mile this time in,” Bowman said.
With that in mind, Bowman is aiming the gelding towards the Toorak Handicap and Cantala Stakes, both run over 1600 metres.
He said the horse got to the end of his most recent campaign battered and bruised but had recovered from his injuries.
“He got bumped and corkscrewed in the Orr and strained a hip muscle, then at his last start in Sydney he slipped out of the barrier and tore that muscle,” Bowman said.
In an open betting race, Begood Toya Mother was a $6 chance with TAB fixed odds on Friday with Godolphin sprinter Viridine a $2.90 favourite.