Trainer Matthew Smith is cautious about promising filly Aqua D’ivina’s next move as the Magic Millions carnival looms as a possibility.
Although he hasn’t won one of the major races at the Gold Coast showpiece, the meeting has been lucrative for the Warwick Farm trainer.
Combat Kitty ran second to Karuta Queen in the 2YO Classic in 2011 while Faraway Town earned the lion’s share of the bonus for all-female owned horses when she ran sixth behind Capitalist in 2016.
Aqua D’ivina might already make the cut for Saturday week’s $2 million 3YO Guineas, but at 67th on the order of entry connections may need the insurance offered by Saturday’s ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1400m) at Randwick.
The $53,375 winners’ cheque would guarantee a Millions start but Smith could lobby for the filly to skip Saturday in favour of a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.
“I think she’d probably scrape into the race. I can’t rule it out but the Magic Millions have probably come a little bit quick for her,” Smith said.
“There’s the trip up there. It’s hot. It’s a pretty taxing sort of day and it knocks them around.”
Smith’s preference is to focus on an autumn campaign.
Aqua D’ivina has a win and two seconds from her three starts and is coming off a convincing maiden victory over 1350m at Wyong on December 21.
“We’ve always had a big opinion of her and I think she’ll be better when she gets over a mile to 2000,” Smith said.
“She’s out of a good mare (Aqua D’Amore) that ran it and she’s by Pierro so she’s got a pedigree that suggests she shouldn’t have any trouble handling the distance.”
Aqua D’Amore won the 2007 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and her other Group One performances included a second in the 2006 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Smith will also represented on Saturday by four-year-old My Maher who will be looking for her fifth win from six starts in a Benchmark 85 Handicap (1000m).
“She’s in good shape. She had a decent spell. Her trials have been good. I’m not sure if she’s ready to win first-up but she’ll run a good race.
My Maher last raced in July and starts in metropolitan class for the first time.
“If she’s good enough she might have a crack at good mares races in the autumn,” Smith said.