Ghostmilk to stay in Melbourne

Improving weather has almost certainly ruled imported mare Ghostmilk out of going for a breakthrough black-type win in Saturday’s Listed Civic Stakes at Rosehill.

A mare with a formidable record in rain-affected going, Ghostmilk has scored impressive heavy track wins at her past two Sandown starts for trainer Peter Moody to earn a Civic nomination.

“There would need to be a heavy track at Rosehill for her to run,” Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor said.

“I have been speaking to a few people in Sydney and I’ve been told it probably wouldn’t be wet enough.

“We still might accept with her at Rosehill as insurance but Melbourne looks the better option.”

Ghostmilk is likely to bid for a winter hat-trick at Moonee Valley.

A former Irish mare, Ghostmilk is entered in two Melbourne races – each over 1500 metres.

She is weighted on the 53kg limit in an open handicap while she has received 57.5kg against her own sex.

O’Connor said a spring campaign was possible for Ghostmilk if she continued her winning ways on Saturday.

“By staying in Melbourne we are also keeping something up our sleeve with the spring in mind,” O’Connor said.

“We’ve got her marked as a 1400-metre horse and there could be options for her in the early part of the spring at least.”

Cool Diva, who has finished in the placings behind Ghostmilk at her past two starts, is also Sydney-nominated.

The four-year-old, prepared by the Golden Slipper-winning partnership of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, has been entered in a Benchmark 80 race.

Ellerton said the stable was covering its options after scratching Cool Diva from Wednesday’s Geelong meeting.

“She’s not as effective in heavy going as she is in slow going,” Ellerton said.

“While her form is good, I’m keen to take her north in search of a bit better ground.”

Ellerton and Zahra were the toast of Australian racing the last time they had a Rosehill runner when they linked with Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble to win the Golden Slipper with Crystal Lily.

If Cool Diva doesn’t start on Saturday, there’s every chance she will front up against her own sex at Randwick the following week.

Cool Diva is one of 17 nominations for the Benchmark 80 Handicap over 1400 metres at Rosehill.

By Warwick Barr