Miss Maren on a NZ mission
Trainer Mick Price says New Zealand’s $NZ 1.2 million Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) may be the best chance staying mare Miss Maren will ever get to win a Group One race.
Owned by the Carter family in New Zealand, Miss Maren is scheduled to arrive in Auckland early Tuesday morning as part of a long and convoluted trip which involves a two-day stop over in Sydney and more several hours travelling from Auckland to Matamata and on to Guy Lowry’s Hastings stables.
"She is a pretty good tempered mare now and should handle it," Price told Sport 927.
Price has closely watched how Saturday’s Kelt Capital has taken shape and assesses it as being a relatively weak Group One with AJC Oaks winner Daffodil one of the main chances along with 2008 Doomben Cup and AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Sarrera.
"I have been keeping an eye on the Hawkes Bay noms and I just think it has dropped off a bit," said Price who describes Miss Maren as a Group Three mare.
"I don’t think it will be the strongest Group One ever presented.
"If I ran her (Miss Maren) in the Cranbourne Cup it would probably be just as hard for her."
Price said Leith Innes would ride Miss Maren and he was confident the mare would handle the Hastings track and appreciate the extra distance.
"She does handle tight tracks and this is her best opportunity to run in a Group One with that prizemoney," Price said.
"She is New Zealand-owned and I think it would be a pretty big day if she was to run in the first three."
Miss Maren has won seven of her 21 starts and nearly $290,000 in stakes.
First up this campaign she landed a 1600-metre open handicap at Caulfield on August 15 and at her past two starts she has finished ninth to Figure Of Speech in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield and eighth to Zarita in the Group Two Stock Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.