Handy mare Lashes will kick off her latest campaign at Randwick but a hefty weight and wide draw has trainer Matt Smith cautious about her return.
The four-year-old will lump 60kg in Saturday’s Tooheys Handicap (1100m), even after the 1-1/2 kilogram claim of apprentice Jean Van Overmeire.
While Smith has been happy with her build-up he says a big weight on a drying track is not ideal, nor is the outside draw in the 12-horse field.
“She looks great. Her work has been good and she’s had a couple of trials. I can’t fault her,” Smith said.
“But she’s got a bit of a task on Saturday with the weight.
“She actually won with a decent weight last prep, 59, but she likes a wet track which helped that day and she’d had a run which helped as well.
“And it is hard from those barriers whichever way you dissect it.”
Lashes scored a strong first-up win last preparation and backed it up with another impressive victory at her next start.
She was spelled after disappointing behind Sweet Deal in the Group Three Triscay Stakes in February but Smith said he was open to having another roll of the dice in stakes grade if her form warranted.
“She had one bad run there last prep so I will just wait and see what she does at her first couple of runs,” Smith said.
“It would be nice if we could get to Brisbane for one of those black-type races.”
On the second line of betting at $5, Lashes’ 11 rivals are headed by consistent Brad Widdup-trained mare Adelong who is the clear-cut $2.40 favourite.