Beer eyeing feature Country Sprints with Sunrise Ruby

Trainer Mitchell Beer is happy to give the Country Championships a miss with talented mare Sunrise Ruby in favour of targeting a couple of feature country sprints in the coming months.

SUNRISE RUBY. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

That's a large part of the reason why the five-year-old is set to return in the Too Darn Hot First Yearlings Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and not the Southern Districts Country Championships on her home track in two and a half weeks.

Sunrise Ruby, $7.50 with TAB on Tuesday, hasn't won a race since claiming a TAB Highway in July 2021 but back in the spring she showed Mitchell Beer she's more than capable of collecting Saturday class races with a couple of close seconds at Randwick.

"As great as the Country Championships is she was narrowly beaten in two $150,000 races,'' Beer said.

"I think she is certainly good enough to win the right $150,000 race and I don't want to ruin her by running her in the one that is just logistically best suited to us.

"Her go is going to be into autumn and winter but she couldn't stay in the paddock forever so she will have a light time until then.

"We have a preparation ahead where we want to have a run every three to four weeks right through the winter."

Beer has a small question mark over Sunrise Ruby's effectiveness at 1400m, part of the reason he's sidestepping the Championships, so has his eye on the Albury City Handicap (1175m) on March 23 and the Wagga Town Plate (1200m) on May 4.

Aside from her Highway win the mare has been runner-up three times in city company, all by under a length and at 1250m or below.

She hasn't raced since finishing fourth at Warwick Farm in a 1400m fillies and mares Benchmark 78 on October 3 and has had a solid grounding for a first-up run with a jump out and a quiet trial.

"We probably just messed up her last start, she sucks you in thinking she wants further but I think she is a fresh, get back, run on, sort of horse,'' Beer said.

"We probably rode her a bit close over 1400m, admittedly the run wasn't bad and a few in front of her went on with the job.

"It looks a nice race for her first-up.

"She had a good jump out at Wangaratta two weeks before the trial and she trialled pretty steadily in behind them, knowing we were going a week later."

While it's looking likely that Sunrise Ruby will be in her box at home when the $150,000 Newhaven Park Southern District Country Championships (1400m) is run at Albury on February 25 the trainer will still be well represented.

The promising Scarlet Prince, a winner of five from 11, heads his team while stablemates Flying Sultan, Well In Sight and Hardware Lane are being aimed at the race.

Racing and Sports