IT WAS ''mission accomplished'' for trainer Ron Quinton after Irish Dream extended her racing career to at least the start of the Sydney spring carnival by winning the Winter Stakes at Warwick Farm yesterday.
''She was sent to me to win a black-type race, so she's done that now,'' Quinton said after the mare's hard-fought Listed victory. ''That was the ultimate for her, and she's a valuable mare now.''
Irish Dream is part of a high-profile band of race mares ushering in a new era for the historic Segenhoe Stud under its new owner, Kevin Maloney, but breeding plans for the rising six-year-old could be put off until later in the year.
''We bought her at the Gold Coast sales last year and decided to keep her going for another year,'' Segenhoe's racing manager, Bill Mitchell, said.
Whether Irish Dream finds her way to the breeding barn this season remains to be seen.
''We'll more than likely head her towards the Toy Show Quality next month, and then reassess after that,'' Mitchell said.
''There would still be plenty of time to send her to stud after the Toy Show if we decided to go that way.''
Irish Dream, backed from $18 to $12, was having her fourth start for Quinton after winning three races last year under the care of Peter Moody.
She was posted wide in the middle stages but responded to Glyn Schofield's encouragement to beat the favourite, See The World, ($3.20) by a long head, with the Queensland galloper Startsmeup ($3.70) third.
Quinton said an improving Warwick Farm surface helped Irish Dream.
But Schofield, who rode a winning double, said Quinton should not go unnoticed when it came to after-race accolades. ''He sent this mare out in fantastic order,'' he said. ''From a jockey's perspective, she was well tuned, on the mark and she ran accordingly.''
See The World, stepping up from an 1100-metre Rosehill win last week, took Irish Dream into the race, and Schofield said he was confident his mount always had the favourite covered. ''I thought he would be out of juice in the straight,'' he said. ''When I attacked him at the 200 metres, I was confident my horse would win.''