A trip to Victoria’s far north west has proven the trick in turning around the form of yesterday’s P B Lawrence Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) winner Sierra Sue (Darci Brahma) whose stakes-winning days appeared behind her before her Mildura Cup (1400m) success last month.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Sierra Sue, wearing the same colours of their now retired Group 1 winner Tagaloa (Lord Kanaloa), won the Kingston Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) last spring but she had been unplaced in seven starts since.
Out of frustration, after a fruitless trip to Queensland and a fourth at Flemington in July, Young threw caution to the wind and decided to back the mare up six days later in the Mildura Cup.
"I think that little trip to Mildura has really brought this filly (mare) on," Young said.
"We always thought she had another good preparation in her and she has shown it today.
"At Flemington, she peaked 50 metres out, unfortunately paying $19, and we thought there was plenty of improvement in her.
"I rang Ozzie (Kheir) and said, 'Get her on a float to Mildura, it is a $100,000 race, I think she has come through that race fantastic, just trust me on this'.
"She came out and won that and she's had a nice three weeks in between and she's come out today and has really got that turn of foot back in her."
Ridden by John Allen, Sierra Sue ($8) scored a one and a quarter length win from Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom) ($31) with Red Can Man (Gingerbread Man) ($5) a short-head away third.
With renewed confidence in the mare, Young plans to run Kiwi-bred Sierra Sue in the Memsie Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) in 13 days’ time. "You can't win Group 1s unless you're in them," Young said.
"We'll have a talk to the owners and see how she pulls up obviously but I would love to see her back here in a couple of weeks."
Allen, who was also aboard Sierra Sue in the Mildura Cup, said the race was run a little slower than what he thought pre-race and when the pace slackened he made a move on the five-year-old mare.
"I thought to give her the best chance we were better rolling forward a little bit," Allen said.
"And it worked out well. "She is definitely really come into herself as a five-year-old mare, so I am sure there will be bigger wins in store."
Sierra Sue was initially bought by New Zealand trainer Peter Lock for just NZ$2,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka May Sale after she was initially passed in at the previous year’s National Yearling Sale.
Lock won a 1000-metre barrier trial with Sierra Sue at Te Aroha before selling her to a syndicate which features Kheir, John O’Neill and Brae Sokolski.
She is one of five winners for Centree (Centaine), who was sent to Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor) last year by Ardsley Stud.
-ANZ Bloodstock News