Champion mare chasing more Group 1 glory before retirement

16 April 2024 | Adam Hamilton
Ladies In Red

Ladies In Red Photo by Stuart McCormick

THE curtain is starting to come down on champion mare Ladies In Red's glorious career, but she's still got some Group 1 hunting to do.

Trainer Emma Stewart confirmed the millionaire mare would have trips to Sydney and Brisbane before she's retired to the breeding barn around August.

The first of the remaining major targets is Australia's premier mares' race, the $200,000 Queen Elizabeth II Mile (formerly Ladyship) at Menangle on May 4.

"She's been invited today, which means she gets to go straight into the race rather than through a qualifier. She's certainly earned that," Stewart said.

Ladies In Red returned from a freshen-up to post her 25th win from just 32 starts when she thrashed a good field in last Saturday night's Blossom Lady at Melton.

Stewart admitted there was as much relief as excitement in the win.

"She went to Sydney for that Miracle Mile qualifier at the start of March, and 'Sal' (David Moran) drove one of the worst races of her career, and she still went enormous," Stewart said.

"You never know how they'll come through a run like that, but she seems to have thrived."

"She'd been working super at home, and seeing her come out and win so impressively last week was fantastic."

"I think she might even be better than ever."

Stewart confirmed Ladies In Red would then target Queensland's winter riches, headed by the $150,000 Group Golden Girl for mares.

"I'd say Queensland will be the end for her," she said. 

"She'll be rising seven, and you can't just keep racing them because there aren't that many big races around just for mares."

"She's had an amazing career and she's still got some nice Group 1 races to come."

Stewart is hoping to have several stablemates among Ladies In Red's rivals in the Queen Elizabeth II.

"We've got Soho Historia running at Menangle in the first of the qualifying races on Saturday. She's trialled well and has plenty of early speed. I think she'll run well," she said.

"The week after, in the second qualifier, Treachery, Major Delight, and Fiamma will be pushing for a spot in the final."

Stewart said her unbeaten and brilliant three-year-old filly Very Pretty was also Menangle-bound.

"Yes, we've had her set for the NSW Oaks for a while now. She's very, very good," she said.

Very Pretty won all five starts at two, including the Group 1 Breeders Crown final, and resumed with a sparkling Melton win on April 4.


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