ASSISTANT trainer John Buckler is expecting big runs from Mother Russia in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1600m and Flirtation and Zirconeum in the Grade 1 TBA Paddock Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth Racecourse this Saturday.
The yard had to forego their normal routine whereby they send horses down on the week of the race. However due to the wet and unworkable tracks being experienced at Randjesfontein Buckler stated that, “We sent them down last Friday and they all travelled well and worked well at Kenilworth on Monday.”
Buckler said that Mother Russia had not needed her run in the Sansui Summer Cup when she faded late having cruised into the lead at the 300m and looking all over the winner.
“She was very fit,” he said.
Asked on whether she would prefer the mile of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate to the tough Turffontein 2000m of the Summer Cup, he replied, “Well, she’s a filly with a lot of toe, she will be very effective over the mile.”
He felt there were a lot of horses to beat in the race, including the eight-year-old Champion Pocket Power, who is unbeaten in ten starts over the course and distance.
Of the TBA Paddock Stakes pair, who are both Grade 1 winners over 2000m, he said, “We gave Flirtation a bit of a break after her win in the Summer Cup. Zirconeum has probably needed her last couple of runs.”