Amelia Park-Blue Spec Stakes (1600m) fancy Lonsdale Lady left trainer Kieran McDonagh mystified and perplexed after she was a late scratching at Belmont Park last Saturday.
McDonagh was looking forward to the Maschino mare go around in a 1600m event and recording consecutive victories after bouncing back to the winner’s list at her previous encounter.
Lonsdale Lady did go around and had a gallop of the Belmont track, but unfortunately for McDonagh and connections not as part of the Devil’s Lair Handicap.
The five-year-old took charge of rider, Shaun O’Donnell, during her preliminary and was withdrawn by stewards after doing a lap of the course.
A week later and McDonagh is still shaking his head.
“I honestly can’t work it out,” McDonagh told The Races WA.
“She’s never done it before and it was completely out of character.
“She pulled up fine and there were no issues with her, she hardly had a blow.
“She’s been completely vetted and we can’t find anything wrong with her.
“I guess you have to put it down to one of those things that can happen.
“She’s been good during the week and I expect her to run well.”
Lonsdale Lady has eased to $4 from her opening $3.90 price on Tabtouch.
In current markets she shares equal billing with Montelena and Kelly’s Callisto.
True Attraction is $5 and Red Publisher $9.
Lonsdale Lady charged home from the rear of the field to defeat Zaratite by a neck last time out.
The pair finished eight lengths clear of third place getter Bad Wolf, a subsequent winner two weeks ago.
Lonsdale Lady will commence from the widest gate in the eight horse line up. Lucy Warwick picks up the ride from the suspended Shaun O’Donnell.
Meanwhile in-form trainer Darren McAuliffe, fresh from a Belmont double on Wednesday, says he expects Montelena to keep on improving in the Blue Spec Stakes.
Having the third start of her preparation after being unplaced in the Bolton Sprint (1200m) and Ngawyni Stakes (1400m), the Rubick mare will appreciate going up in trip.
Chris Parnham, who has partnered Montelena in four of her five career wins, reunites with her.
“She is getting better with each run,” McAuliffe said.
“The mile should suit.
“Hopefully Chris back on does the trick.”