Hot autumn plans for rising sprinter
LJUNGBERG, the hottest favourite at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, is racing to earn an autumn carnival invite.
Trainer Ron Quinton said he step Ljungberg up into racing's big league if he could win the Doug Carroll Handicap (1300m).
"If he happens to win (again) then we will have to take on the better three-year-olds,'' Quinton said. "I'm not sure what his next race will be, we will take it step by step but let's get through Rosehill first.''
Ljungberg has been installed the $2.05 fixed odds favourite by Ladbrokes to score his third city win in succession this summer.
It is another test of Ljungberg's emerging sprinting ability but the son of I Am Invincibe made everyone sit up and take notice when he romped home at Randwick two weeks ago.
Even Hall of Famer Quinton was taken aback by Ljungberg's brilliant effort to open up a gap of nearly four lengths to his chasing rivals.
"I expected him to run really well the other day but he did surprise me how easily he won the race,'' the trianer said.
"I'm not sure how the form will hold up but he did appear very impressive. He's learning how to race now. He's not over-racing like he did early in his career.''
Quinton had the option of taking Ljungberg to the Gold Coast for the $2 million Magic Millions 3yo Guineas last week but decided to keep the young sprinter in Sydney.
"I have no regrets about missing the Gold Coast race,'' the trainer said. "The decision was made very early on not to go there and we stuck by that.
"We feel it is in the best interests of horse long-term.''
As Quinton goes about developing Ljungberg's talents, the trainer is preparing stable stars Daysee Doom and Dixie Blossoms for their farewell race campaigns this autumn.
Daysee Doom is a winner of nine races and nearly $1.2 million in prizemoney and Dixie Blossom has won six races and just under $1 million in stakes, but both are rising seven-year-old mares and will start new careers as broodmares next season.
But Quinton said both mare had come up well for the autumn and were likely to have a barrier trial before the end of this month.
"I'm really happy with how Daysee and Dixie are coming along and they are close to trialling,'' Quinton said.
"I haven't mapped out a proper race program for either mare just yet but I will try to keep them apart at least for their first-up runs. But they are top-class mares and will have to clash in those good mares races over the autumn.
"It will be a sad day when they leave as these two mares have been great for the stable, particularly a small one like ours, for nearly four years now.
"They come up and perform well every preparation and there is no reason they can't do that again one last time this autumn.''