Chad Schofield had been itching to get aboard Gregers and today the star filly emphasised why, trouncing her rivals in the $80,000 Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
It was the first time apprentice jockey Schofield, stable rider for Gregers’ trainer David Hayes, has ridden the three-year-old in a race.
Claiming apprentice Kayla Nisbet was aboard when she resumed with a dominant win at the Valley on 3 August, while Dwayne Dunn rode her at her only two runs in her debut preparation, during the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
Schofield has done plenty of work aboard the daughter of Commands at Hayes’ Euroa base and was not surprised that she was able to amble to a 1-3/4-length win over well-performed Mick Kent-trained filly The Huntress.
“She gave me a great feel,” Schofield said. “She did it very easily. She had a big look down the straight, so she did it very comfortably.
“The horse of Mick Kent’s has a big wrap on it too and for her to smash them like that was very positive and good to see.”
Gregers replaced dual Group 1 winner Guelph at the head of the TAB’s Schweppes Thousand Guineas, at $5, with her dominant victory.
While a barnstorming finish was the feature of her first-up success, which came over 1000m, the $1.35 favourite demonstrated her versatility with her all-the-way success.
“With the bigger races in mind, I would have liked to get cover but she just jumped so well and had too much speed, so I just let her slide across,” Schofield said.
“She had her ears pricked through the race and he has a big look down the straight, so that means she’s done it really easily.
“She’s a very nice filly. She’s doing everything right at the moment and let’s hope she can go forward and contest those big races.”
Schofield, Victoria’s premier apprentice last season, is yet to win a Group race and Hayes said he is likely to get that chance at Flemington on 7 September with the $220,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) her next probable start.
“If she eats up we’ll go towards the Danehill and then back against the fillies in the (Guineas) Prelude and then into the Guineas if all goes well,” Hayes said.
“That can be variable, but we’re well ahead of schedule at the moment. She’s had two lovely introductions to racing this year and hopefully she just gets better as the campaign goes on.”
The Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude is at Caulfield on 21 September with the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas at the same track on 16 October.
Story by Brad Bishop