Top mare under the odds
Bob Peters

Owner Bob Peters is not convinced the price assessors have it right in rating Dreamaway a $3.80 second favourite in today's $125,000 Strickland Stakes (2000m).

Punters supported Rosie Rocket from $3.30 into $2.80 after Player opened its market on Thursday for the Group 3 weight-for-age feature, mindful that the mare claimed the Listed Starstruck (1600m) and La Trice (1800m) classics last summer.

The Adam Durrant-trained Mr Moet and Chester Road eased from $3.80 to $4 and $5 to $5.50 respectively, with Dreamaway's stablemate Battle Emblem on the next line of betting at $13 in the field of eight. Dreamaway was the State's champion three-year-old last season, claiming five feature wins in succession, highlighted by her Group 1 WATC Derby (2400m).

The More Than Ready four-year-old mare has drawn a blank at her six starts in Melbourne and Perth this season.

"She had three runs in Melbourne and three runs at Belmont and she has not been placed," Peters said. "I can't see how you can be too ecstatic."

Trainer Grant Williams' effort to dodge Luckygray in last Saturday week's Hyperion Stakes (1600m) saw him take an unorthodox approach and run Dreamaway with 61.5kg, after the 2kg claim of apprentice Jordan Mallyon, in an 80-plus 1200m handicap the same card. Dreamaway tackled Luckygray in the Roma Cup and Belmont Sprint, won by the Gino Poletti-trained grey, at her first two starts back.

Peters said Dreamaway's future was on the line - a win would see her career extended into next season for a likely Railway Stakes tilt, while a poor display would see her join Avante in the breeding barn.

"It is that time of year so the option is there to retire her," Peters said.

"She had a very tough campaign stepping up in distance each time as a three-year-old.

"Sometimes a filly may take 12 months to come back, or they may never come back."

Mallyon has been rewarded for riding two winners for Peters at the past two Belmont meetings, being booked to ride Battle Emblem.

Just Wicked remained a firm favourite at $3.30 on Player to win the Belmont Oaks at her maiden test over 2000m, while Raconteur Stakes winner Rantorini was backed from $3.70 into $3.60 second favourite.

Punters backed the classy Flag Officer from $3.20 into $2.80 favouritism in the Dayana Plate (2000m).

┬ĚTalented apprentice Ben Paterson was yesterday suspended for 23 days after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge in the final race at Belmont on Wednesday.

"Sometimes a filly may take 12 months to come back, or they may never come back."" Dreamaway's owner *Bob Peters *

The West Australian

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