Prom Queen on song for Doomben


Multiple stakes-winning filly Prom Queen is raring to go for Saturday’s Singapore Airlines QTIS three-year-old Plate (1350m) at Doomben according to co-trainer Kenny Rae.

It will be the third and final start in her Queensland campaign before she heads back to New Zealand for a spell ahead of spring racing where a Melbourne campaign could beckon.

Rae, who trains in partnership with wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams, was very happy with her two previous runs in the sunshine state, and noted the high regard jockey Craig Williams has for the diminutive filly after his runner-up ride on her. 

“They were both good runs,” Rae said. “When she ran second, Craig Williams said to bring her to Melbourne, she’s good enough to be in Melbourne. I rang him the other day and he said bring her to Melbourne in the spring and I’ll be riding her.

“In her last start the apprentice (Boris Thornton) rode her alright, but I didn’t realise at the time because I didn’t know him, but he’s about 10 foot tall. She’s about 14 hands high, so he didn’t really suit her. The size of the saddle on her was like a postage stamp. But she still ran well for fourth.”

Prom Queen will be ridden by Kiwi jockey Mark du Plessis on Saturday and Rae is hoping for a strong performance from his charge before she heads for a spell.

“Mark du Plessis is riding her this time,” he said. “I had all the jockeys ringing me to ride her this time, but I’ve booked Mark. 

“All reports are good. I’m going over there tonight after the trials to make sure, but the girls said she has been kicking and bucking and is good as gold.

“She’s booked in to come home (after Saturday’s race). I could have gone to Melbourne to race on the 30th, but I want to bring her home and have her ready for Christchurch in November for the Stewards.

“I told Craig Williams that if she fronts up at Christchurch and wins that I will bring her to Melbourne after November, once the Flemington carnival is done and dusted.” 

Meanwhile, Rae has another smart galloper that will join Prom Queen at the New Zealand Cup carnival in November.

Major Tom continued his good run of form at Ruakaka on Saturday when he won over 1600m.

The win has taken the four-year-old Red Giant gelding’s record to four wins from 15 starts and Rae believes Major Tom has the potential to become his first Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner.

“He’s a lovely horse,” Rae said. “He’s been a work in progress. We actually had a couple of offers for him two days before his race, but thank goodness he went out and won. 

“He gets labelled a wet-tracker, but he won on a Good3 track at Ellerslie.

“I want to win a New Zealand Cup somewhere along the line. I got third last year and I want to take him to it this year, all going well. It might be next year, but he is definitely going to make the grade.”

Rae will continue to race Major Tom at Ruakaka before turning him out for a spell in preparation for his spring campaign. 

“I’m just going to keep him to Ruakaka at the moment,” he said. “I want to give him two more starts and then give him a bit of a break and aim at Christchurch.” – NZ Racing Desk