Lunar Flare returns to Flemington in Queen Elizabeth Stakes

A year in the career of a racehorse can be a long time as trainer Grahame Begg can vouch for.

At the corresponding meeting at Flemington 12 months ago, Begg saddled Lunar Flare in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and watched the mare finish eighth behind Irish galloper True Self.

On Saturday Lunar Flare returns to Flemington for the same race, a vastly improved mare and coming off successive wins in the Listed R M Ansett Classic (2400m) at Mornington and the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).

Those two victories netted connections of Lunar Flare just over $700,000 in prize money to take her earnings to just shy of $1 million.

Saturday’s first prize is $180,000 while there is a further $200,000 bonus if successful having taken out the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

“She’s in good shape, she’s trained on nicely since her win in the Moonee Valley Cup, but we’ve just been taking each race as it comes,” Begg said.

“She ran in this race last year. It was a lot bigger race and a stronger race, but she is going a lot better now and we know a lot more about her.

“It is a logical choice. There is a $200,000 bonus, she races well at Flemington, plus the small field suits.”

Lunar Flare commenced her campaign in May and Saturday’s outing will be her tenth this preparation.

As Begg pointed out, he does not know how many more runs he can extract from the mare, but said with these types of fillies and mares, when they’re in form, you keep them going.

Begg will wait to see how Lunar Flare shapes up on Saturday but said the mare could be back at Caulfield at the end of the month for the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield.

“The option is there,” Begg said.

“She will go out for a long break regardless of whatever we decide whether it’s after this or the Zipping.

“Three weeks between Saturday and the Zipping might be perfect.”

About RS NewsWire

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