Two Blue is ready to give Ken Dennis and Bruce Mackie their biggest thrill after more than 20 years in racing, but they didn't want to have it on their own.
After a win at Randwick during the carnival, the Dark Jewel Classic at Scone on Saturday could be a springboard to a Brisbane winter campaign, ending in the group 1 Tatt's Tiara next month.
However, Dennis and Mackie could have been going on that journey by themselves. A slow maturer, the five-year-old mare has emerged as a group contender at her past couple of runs for Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan, just after the lease to a group of owners was finishing.
''They could have quite easily taken her back and raced her,'' Buchanan said. ''It was within their rights to do so, but they said they didn't want to change anything. Ken and Bruce are great guys and this is the best horse they have had so far, so it is a thrill for them. Before that win at Randwick it was a bit of a rush to get the paperwork done to get the lease extended, but we did it and she did the rest.''
Buchanan owns 20 per cent of Two Blue. She said after the Randwick win, Brisbane was the plan, via Scone. The first-up benchmark 85 win over 1200 metres meant she had to wait three weeks between runs for Saturday's group 3.
''It has probably been good for her because she is starting to mature and you can see it in the way she works,'' Buchanan said.
''I ride her most of her work because she has always been very hard going. It is that nature that has probably cost her quite a few races. She fights her jockey rather than racing the other horses but this time she seems to have settled down. In the past we have started her at the shorter trip, rather than trial, because she just wouldn't settle and we have just had to let her run along.
''She dropped in behind them at Randwick and showed what she can do with a sit.''
Buchanan will take daughter Mackenzie, who has proven Two Blue's lucky charm, to Scone. ''She has a new dress her grandmother made for her for the races,'' she said. ''It is in Two Blue's colours.
''Fortunately she isn't walking yet, I think that is about a month away … She will be there and hopefully Two Blue can get another win.'' Buchanan also will taken Lucky News to Scone for the Luskin Star Stakes earlier in the afternoon. The four-year-old mare is also owned under a lease arrangement and Buchanan holds a 20 per cent stake.
''It is a good way to do it when you are starting out because you don't get many horses from elsewhere,'' she said.
Lucky News holds a decision over Two Blue from December on the Kensington track when the pair gave Buchanan her first city quinella. She said Lucky News would appreciate the good track.
The story Buchanan plans Scone Jewel before Two Blue's shot at Brisbane riches first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.