TOP Warrnambool trainer Lindsey Smith is seeking to reconstruct the careers of promising gallopers Tuvalu and Queen Air in feature spring races.
Much was expected of Tuvalu and Queen Air in the autumn but their form tapered off after they showed ability in major spring races last year. Smith elected to turn the pair out for a let-up but Tuvalu and Queen Air are back in light work at his Warrnambool stables.
"Tuvalu and Queen Air just never came up in the autumn," the multiple group 1-winning trainer said. "I'm very happy with how both horses spelled. We had problems with Tuvalu's blood in the autumn. It was never really right. We sent him up to a hyperbaric chamber at Kilmore for a few weeks and his blood is spot on now.
"We could look at races like the Memsie Stakes and Toorak later in the year similar to what he did last year before looking at other spring features."
Queen Air, who ran third in the VRC Oaks last year before unplaced runs in the Vanity and Bendigo 's Leger Trial, may kick off her spring campaign in the Heatherlie Stakes.
"We'll just take Queen Air along slowly," he said. "Her best runs have been in races over a bit of ground and we'll be looking at doing that in the spring."
Tuvalu has won eight of his 16 starts while from her eight runs Queen Air has been in the winner's circle on two occasions.
Lightly-raced filly Bubble Palace left a smile on the face of Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman following her second placing in a $150,000 three-year-old fillies race at Sandown on Saturday.
Bubble Palace with Melissa Julius in the saddle finished a length behind the winner Flying On A Limb in the 1000-metre contest.
Bowman said the speedy Bubble Palace carried three kilograms more than Flying On A Limb.
"I thought Bubble Palace was brave," he said. "She did a fair bit of work in the run and still battled on strongly to the line. She's an honest filly. I think her best distance range is from a 1000 to 1100 metres but with time she may get out to 1200 metres. There's a nice race for her at the upcoming Swan Hill carnival over 1000 metres but we might hold off running there and set her for a race at Caulfield next month."
Bubble Palace took her stake earnings to more than $155,00 with her second placing.
Tom Dabernig gave the thumbs up to jockey Dean Yendall following his winning ride on Joe's Giggle at Horsham on Sunday.
Joe's Giggle won a 1400-metre race by two lengths.
The Warrnambool-based trainer said he was quietly confident the four-year-old would run well at his first run this campaign.
"It's a bonus to have Dean riding a horse around Horsham after you've drawn barrier one," Dabernig said.
"Joe's Giggle had trialled up right leading into the race. Joe's Giggle loves wet tracks and he got those conditions on Sunday. He's been a slow maturing horse who is in at the right time of the year considering we're coming into the winter months."
Meanwhile, Dabernig is hoping works to extend his Warrnambool stables will start in coming weeks.
"We're looking at adding on about another 12 to 15 boxes," he said. "The materials have been ordered. We're just waiting for them to come in and the builders will be ready to start."
Dabernig hopes to have 55 horses in work at his on-course stables.
Consistent Warrnambool galloper Dashing is heading for a spell following an unplaced run in a $150,000 race at Sandown on Saturday.
Trainer Aaron Purcell said the lightly raced three-year-old deserved a break after winning two races from seven runs this preparation.
"Saturday's unplaced run by Dashing was uncharacteristic," Purcell said.
"Dashing is usually right in the race but he failed to fire on Saturday. He's just come to end of this campaign. He deserves a good break and he'll get that. I think he's capable of winning a nice race in town once he comes back into work.
"Dashing has been a great money spinner for his connections and I'm confident they will have a lot more fun with the horse in the future."
Dashing has won three of his 15 starts and earnt more than $290,000 for his connections.
Popular Warrnambool trainer Merv McKenzie has scaled down his horses in work for the winter months. McKenzie said he only had his veteran galloper A Good Yarn in light work but had another couple of young horses that would come into work later in the year.
Jockey Robbie Downey was outed on a whip infringement charge following his ride on Nautico at Wodonga on Saturday. Stewards found Downey used his whip on 10 occasions before the 100-metre mark - five more times than permitted. He has been suspended for eight meetings. His suspension starts at midnight on June 3 and ends midnight June 11.
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