Matt Smith saddles up Miss Siska in Festival Stakes

Trainer Matthew Smith is determined to see a summer smash-and-grab set the platform for a Sydney autumn assault for talented mare Miss Siska.

The daughter of So You Think will return from a short freshen-up for the first of two summer runs in Saturday’s Group 3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill before Smith puts the Group 2 Villiers Stakes in his crosshairs.

“If she comes out and wins a race like the Villiers it opens a few doors and we can focus towards the autumn,” Smith said.

“These mares they take a bit of time getting back into racing and to get them where you want them to be.

“She has held a bit of condition from her two runs in the spring and that was the idea behind it, to keep her moving in the right direction.”

Miss Siska is already a Group 2 winner. Photo: Ross Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Miss Siska has only been in Smith’s care for two runs after joining his Warwick Farm stable from Graeme Begg at the beginning of the season.

The seven-year-old mare was 10th in the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes first up before running 7th in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes on September 26.

Smith sent Miss Siska for a short break after the Shannon Stakes run but expects her to derive some benefit from her two spring starts when she resumes.

“I sort of expected she would take a bit of time because she is quite a big mare and thought she would need those runs to get fit on the sheer size of her,” Smith said.

“She seems to be going quite good and we gave her a trial the other day to get her ready for this.

Trainer Matthew Smith. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I expect whatever she does, she will improve on.”

Miss Siska is rated an $18 chance with for the Festival Stakes with Tim Clark booked to ride from barrier three.

Smith had also nominated Grey Lion for the Listed ATC Cup at the Rosehill meeting but has elected to wait until next week with his veteran stayer.

Saturday’s meeting is poised to go ahead with the Racing NSW heat policy in play with a high of 39 degrees forecast in Sydney’s west.

Originally published asSummer to set autumn platform for Miss Siska

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