Eight months after taking out her trainers’ licence, Annabel Neasham is pinching herself at the prospect of having two Group One runners on one of the biggest race days of the Sydney autumn carnival.
Neasham will saddle up Queen Of Wizardry in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) and Mo’Unga in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
While Queen Of Wizardry is an +8000 outsider, Mo’unga is a +200 favourite for the middle leg of Sydney’s three-year-old triple crown after a slashing second in the Randwick Guineas when he was held up for a run until halfway up the straight.
It is rare for a young trainer to have a Group One opportunity so early in their career and Neasham does not take it for granted.
“Winning a Group One, it’s what every trainer wants to do. Many of them have and the ones that haven’t, they’re aspiring to win one. It’s the pinnacle,” she said.
“If we can do it this early on it would be unbelievable.
“That’s why I realise I’m so lucky that I’ve got a horse so early in my career, such as Mo’unga, that’s got the ability to win one. They don’t come around all the time, these sort of horses.”
The delayed running of Saturday’s program has had little impact on the preparation of Neasham’s Group One hopefuls after she managed to arrange a grass gallop for both Mo’unga and Queen Of Wizardry between races at Queanbeyan on Monday.
The Guineas has been Mo’unga’s primary target and Neasham wants to get through Saturday before deciding whether he heads down a Doncaster or Derby path.
“We’ve been really targeting this Rosehill Guineas the whole way through,” Neasham said.
“I think 2000 metres is going to be ideal for him and hopefully we can see that on Saturday.”