By Glenn Davis
Promising filly Take Tea’s hopes of claiming a Stakes race has been boosted by the shock withdrawal of the State’s best three-year-old Gem Of Scotland in the Mode Plate at Doomben on Saturday.
Trainer Rex Lipp decided not to risk starting Gem Of Scotland after she suffered a slight setback ahead of her planned return in the 1200-metre Listed feature.
Gem Of Scotland earned the title as the State’s best three-year-old when she beat a top-class field against her own age at her most recent appearance at Eagle Farm on October 12.
Lipp then put her away in the hope of chasing the Fillies & Mares race at the Magic Millions in January but is now having second thoughts and may reserve her for the Sydney autumn and Brisbane winter carnivals.
“She’s had a slight hiccup and she’s too good to risk so I won’t start her tomorrow and I’ll probably put her straight out in the paddock again,” Lipp said.
Trainer Les Kelly‘s confidence has soared following Gem Of Scotland’s withdrawal.
Take Tea, a Mark Du Plessis mount, has started only six times for three wins and two placings.
The daughter of Testa Rossa finished third in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial at the Gold Coast at only her second race start before a sixth to the Tony Gollan-trained Perudo in the Listed Bill Carter at Doomben in May.
Take Tea won her first two starts this campaign at the Gold Coast and Ipswich before a last start second to the Natalie McCall-trained Valario at Eagle Farm on November 2.
“Take Tea is a very smart filly and she’s improved since her last run,” Kelly said.
“With a bit of luck from her alley she’ll get a good run just behind the leaders.
“It’s a hard race with about 10 decent chances.
“I want to see how she performs at this level again as there’s some good fillies and mares’ races coming up for her next month.”
Meanwhile Rockhampton trainer Graeme Green may target the $300,000 QTIS Jewel for three-year-olds at the Gold Coast in March if Master Jamie wins the TAB Winning Rupert (1200m).
Master Jamie has won seven of his nine starts and is returning to Brisbane after suffering his first of only two defeats when third to the Tony Gollan-trained Vincere Volare at Doomben 12 months ago.
“He was at the end of his campaign the only time he raced in Brisbane but his form is very good,” Green said.
“He ran second first-up this campaign when he was a bit underdone then he won well last start.”
Racing Queensland webnews November 29