Noble Protector is yet to taste anything but success over an impressive Autumn Carnival preparation and is primed for a step-up to Group 1 company for Saturday’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Posting a commendable record of five race wins and as many minor place finishes through her 13 start career so far, Noble Protector began her racing career abroad in Britain before transferring to the care of Robert Smerdon partway through the 2014 Spring Carnival.
Having debuted in Australia for a close second to subsequent two-time Group 1 winner Contributer in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) before placing fourth in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m), Smerdon told AAP he is confident the Haafhd mare has returned a better horse this year and believes she is ready for a Group 1 test in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
“She came over with a good reputation and her record was a tidy record,” he said.
“I thought she was going really well into that David Jones Cup but then the other horse accounted for her quite comfortably.
“She’s won a Group Three and a Group Two, so we’ll have a go at a Group One.”
Steadily building in condition over three Victorian barrier trials prior to her racing return, Noble Protector was given some chance of success in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) first-up on March 14th but displayed a scintillating turn of foot to finish close to five lengths in the clear of closest rival Marianne.
Jumping from the gates well in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) most recently on March 27th, the mare out of All Glory settled in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before again kicking well to hit the line two lengths ahead of Girl In Flight.
Allocated the central barrier 7, Noble Protector has been confirmed to be partnered by regular jockey Craig Williams in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
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