Purple Sector was not able to give John Thompson the perfect spring carnival ending in the The Gong but the trainer has still enjoyed an impressive innings.
The rejuvenated five-year-old, who was well-fancied in Saturday’s $1 million race, finished seventh to Archedemus after settling handy to the speed and battling on creditably.
Despite preparing a relatively small team, Thompson has enjoyed a great spring, highlighted by a Group Two Tramway Stakes win with Dreamforce and Sweet Deal’s heroics in the $1 million The Hunter.
He currently sits among the top 10 in the Sydney trainers’ premiership with nine city wins this season and is on target to match his 36 victories during the 2019-20 term.
Sweet Deal went straight from the Broadmeadow racetrack to the spelling paddock after claiming The Hunter and Thompson is looking towards Group One targets in the autumn.
The mare has continued to improve with age and Thompson is thankful her owners decided against sending her to the broodmare barn.
“They were talking about retiring her after the last autumn. The owner basically said to me, ‘do you think she’s had enough?’ and I said, ‘are you cracking jokes, she’s just coming good’,” Thompson said.
“She has done so well, it wouldn’t surprise me to even see them race on a bit longer.
“We are planning for her to come back in the autumn through those mares races.
“She will be first up in the Guy Walter, Coolmore, Queen Of The Turf and then we will possibly go for a freshen up then and go to Queensland for a race like the Tatt’s Tiara.”
Stablemate Mamaragan had an indifferent spring after showing abundant promise with a Golden Slipper placing at just his second start.
Thompson experimented with him over a mile in the Caulfield Guineas but will train him as a sprinter in the future.
The three-year-old has been put on notice to turn his form around next preparation or he is unlikely to remain a colt.
“He had a pretty hard prep with the trip to Melbourne at the end of his few hard runs here. Gelding him after that would be a very tough call,” Thompson said.
“We’ve just got to let him bounce back. Hopefully he picks up and gets back to his best in the autumn.”
Thompson is again poised to have a feature race presence on Saturday with Primitivo set to resume in the Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
There were 20 nominations taken on Monday for the Group Three event, which is a traditional lead up to next month’s Villiers Stakes at Randwick.