Lynward Park-bred mare Fituese is a frontline candidate for the $2million The Invitation (1400m) at Randwick on October 23.
Trainer John Thompson is hoping she gets the green light when Racing NSW announces the field for the inaugural running that’s restricted to the best fillies and mares in Australia and New Zealand.
Fituese (Deep Field) resumed from a winter spell to win the G3 Toy Show Hcp (1100m) at Randwick last month and backs up in the G2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Kembla Grange tomorrow.
“She ran out a strong 1100m first-up and covered ground doing it,” Thompson said. “As long as she gets on a somewhat dry surface she will be right. I think she will get further myself.”
Fituese has won 7 of her 14 starts for Prime Syndications but the Toy Show victory wasn’t without incident. Jockey Jean Van Overmeire was a last-minute replacement for regular rider Rachel King who fell earlier in the day at Randwick.
“Jean had never been on her before and I gave him a three-second rundown,” Thompson revealed. “I just told him Rachel’s plan and he rode her to the letter.
“All my horses improve with racing, that’s a guarantee. She’s just in great order. And when mares are in winning form, they seem to hold it.”
Fituese was bred and sold by Lynward Park for $40,000 as a foal to Bob Dawson at the 2017 Perth Magic Millions Winter Sale. The Bullsbrook nursery had bought her dam Cattalo (Tiger Hill) for $30,000 at the 2016 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale. Her second-dam Mannerism won a G1 Caulfield Cup.
Lynward Park’s van Heemst family is also looking east with their homebred mare Baranova (Fiorente) who was last seen winning the LR Belmont Classic (2200m) in July.
Following the decision by trainer Justin Warwick to take a break from racing, Lynward Park studmaster Troy van Heemst said Baranova is expected to have another prep in Perth. “If she goes to the Eastern States, it will be the following campaign. She’s currently enjoying an extended spell at the farm and no decisions have been made on her next placement.”
Lynward Park stands Mahuta (Flying Spur) for $4,400 and Bondi (Snitzel) for $5,500 this season. Service fees (inc GST).
Three generations of the van Heemst family at the presentation for the Belmont Classic
Back row: Kurtis, Sally, Troy, Sarah, Chad, (Justin Warwick), Ted and Marilyn.
Front row: Kelsey, Lydia and Olivia