Owner-breeder Sean Buckley is unsure if his newly-acquired Winter Stakes hope Marveen will measure up as a major staying force in Melbourne during the spring carnival but a New Zealand trip next year is definitely on her agenda.
Buckley, who will also be represented by the Lee Freedman-trained Dane Julia in Saturday’s 1400-metre Group One feature at Eagle Farm, bought Marveen for $450,000 at the recent Magic Millions National broodmare sale at the Gold Coast.
The filly raced in his colours for the first time when she was runner-up to Express Air in the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.
It was the filly’s only start on a heavy track and Buckley is hoping forecasts for showers eventuate.
“She’s very versatile and can cope with all conditions but a slow track will be ideal,” he said.
Eagle Farm was rated good on Thursday but a late storm was forecast with further showers tipped for Friday and Saturday.
Buckley was disappointed when Marveen drew barrier 15 in the Winter Stakes while Dane Julia fared even worse with the extreme outside gate, 22.
“I’ve got a 51 per cent share in Dane Julia and before the draw I favoured her over Marveen but now I’m leaning to Marveen,” he said.
“It’s a shame with Dane Julia because she’s flying.”
Buckley, who also owns champion mare Miss Andretti, bought Dane Julia for an undisclosed figure in South Africa last year.
The daughter of Caesour started her career with a flurry of five straight wins in South Africa, including the Group One Fillies Classic (1800m) in March 2007.
Dane Julia, a Michael Walker mount, is yet to win from 13 starts in Australia but became a Group One winner in two countries when she claimed the Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in New Zealand on April 4.
Dane Julia has started once in Queensland, finishing a creditable sixth from a wide barrier to Chinchilla Rose in the Group Three Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on May 30.
Marveen, who will be ridden by apprentice Nicholas Hall, will be spelled in Queensland instead of Buckley’s Kilmore property in Victoria to prepare for a late spring campaign in Melbourne.
“I’ve got 30-35 broodmares at Kilmore but she’ll spell at Washpool Lodge in Queensland after the Winter Stakes,” Buckley said.
“She’ll have about three months off and we think she’ll go through a growth spurt while she’s out.
“I’m hoping she’ll go on. If Ortensia, Absolut Glam and Forensics are the best rated fillies and mares in the country then I’ll look at the Myer Classic with her in the spring if she can match them in the Winter Stakes.
“It won’t surprise me to see her go on for the Caulfield Cup as she should get in with a light weight but her main mission will be the Group One fillies and mares races in New Zealand in early January and February.”
Buckley and Marveen’s trainer Robert Smerdon have discussed the filly’s future and both are hopeful she will stay.
“I reckon she’ll get a distance but Robert hasn’t had the chance to test her yet,” he said.
Smerdon is currently overseas and will miss the Winter Stakes meeting.
He originally brought Marveen north for the Group One 2009 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm but her campaign direction was changed following a nomination mix-up for the Group Three Doomben Roses last month.
Article by Glenn Davis – Courtesy of Aapracing