Space Star has been Australia’s dominant stayer in 2015, winning three times at Group 1 level in the Association Cup, Galaxy and Zoom Top, however he’s currently sidelined after tearing a monkey muscle when beaten as odds-on favourite in the recent Sandown Cup.
The absence of Space Star and Sandown Cup heroine Sweet It Is, which has crossed the ditch for Sunday’s Group 1 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar in Auckland, has thrown the Albion Park Gold Cup series wide open.
While master distance conditioner Robert Britton is disappointed the recuperating Space Star won’t be heading north, he’s optimistic litter sister Tears Siam can fill the massive void.
“With Space Star being injured and Sweet It Is going over to New Zealand I think the race really looks set up for Lady Toy but hopefully we can sneak one or two into the final and see what happens next week” – ROBERT BRITTON
“It’s probably not a dream team – it’s more like the B team – but with only 14 nominations and there doesn’t look to be a lot of depth you’ve got to be there,” Britton said.
“At her best Tears Siam is probably the reason I’m going up to Brisbane.
“Two-out she’d be every bit as good as Space Star but she’s not as good in a field as he is.
“If you look at her form she’s won races by 17 and 19 lengths but she’s also been beaten by the same sort of margins so she can have an off night. But as far as ability goes she’s right up there and I think she can match it with most of these dogs.
“Cosmic Vee Bee’s no champ but she’s very consistent and she’d be a genuine chance of making the final, like she did in the Sandown Cup.
“I decided to take Rain Stream up as well because she’s raced in Queensland before. She mightn’t be up to the class of some of the others but she knows the place and she’s also capable of finishing in the first four.
“With Space Star being injured and Sweet It Is going over to New Zealand I think the race really looks set up for Lady Toy but hopefully we can sneak one or two into the final and see what happens next week.”
Brooke Ennis will be hoping Britton is on the mark about Lady Toy being the testing material in the Gold Cup, with the ultra-consistent bitch striving to shed a frustrating bridesmaid tag.
It’s been a case of so near but yet so far to Group 1 glory for Lady Toy in 2015 as she’s agonisingly finished runner-up on four occasions.
Lady Toy has chased home Space Star in both the Galaxy and Association Cup and Sweet It Is in the Sandown Cup but with her two champion rivals not contesting the Gold Cup she might never get a better opportunity to claim a deserved Group 1 trophy.