Unbeaten filly Once Again My Girl might be playing in the “big sandpit”, as trainer Brett Cavanough puts it, when she makes her stakes debut at Scone on Saturday but she’s earned it given the lofty margins of her two wins to date.
The Scone trainer is of course no stranger to producing a talented filly and while he’s loathe to compare with Kosciuszko champ It’s Me he said he’s seeing above average talent in the exciting three-year-old.
“Some of her E-Trakka readings are phenomenal, she’s just very fast,’’ Cavanough said.
“The GPS readings that I’ve got on her are totally different to It’s Me.
“(It’s Me) used to get back and run unbelievable times late in her races, this filly is the opposite. She can sit up there and hum away and then quicken. Without comparing them this filly is pretty good.
“But she has been in country grade, we’re playing in the big sandpit this weekend.”
After breaking Lost And Running’s 1000m track record in her debut 3-3/4 length win at Scone on March 20, Cavanough stepped her out a month later and she put a similar margin on Class 1 company over 1100m.
Cavanough considered shipping her to Brisbane but with a race like the Listed $160,000 Coolmore Denise’s Joy (1100m) at home it’s hard to pass up if you’re going to give her a class test.
“A well bred, unbeaten filly, we’re getting a bit late in the year and this one fitted in nicely to her program for where she’s at and she’s just got to walk 200 yards and get into them,’’ he said.
“It’s very positive that she’s playing in her own back yard.
“She ran a track record at her first start, okay it was wind assisted but wind doesn’t pick horses up and carry them she’s still got to pick the legs up and put them down.
“I told Braith (Nock) to hold her up (at her second start) and try and teach her something and she just walked in front of them for the first 500m then last 600m she brushed home in 33 so it was a pretty good effort.”
Once Again My Girl, $6 with TAB on Thursday, will be ridden by Winona Costin at Scone.
She has drawn ideally in gate five for a fast filly and Cavanough said it’s now up to the filly to prove she can step up against a number of fillies with proven metro and stakes form.
“She’s very well educated, she’s press button, naturally she will jump into the bridle and run a bit,’’ he said.
“We’re in a different level, we’re not in a Class 1 at Scone we’re in a Listed race.”
Cavanough’s other runners on Dark Jewel Day have awkward barriers to contend with but he said both Sungblue and Rising are in their right races if they have any luck.
Sungblue steps to the mile in the TAB Highway (1600m) after a solid second at Newcastle just over a week ago and he said jockey Jean Van Overmeire believes he’s discovered the right way to ride the gelding.
“Jean thought he could have went back a touch, I had him earmarked as a horse that has a high cruising speed and couldn’t run a sectional,’’ he said.
“But the sectionals that came out of the Newcastle run were good and you can only read what’s in front of you. On the quick back-up up to the mile, I wouldn’t be surprised if he grabs hold and is in the second or third pair.”
Rising, formerly trained by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, has the outside barrier to contend with in the Yarraman Park Handicap (1300m) and the trainer said his last start failure is forgivable.
The four-year-old led all the way over 1000m at Scone first-up for Cavanough who says it’ll be up to Aaron Bullock to find the right passage.
“First-up he was solid, he went to Brisbane and he sat three deep and nothing made ground all day,’’ he said.
“He’s drawn wide, big weight, Bullock. The handicappers have him earmarked as a good galloper with his weight so I’ll just leave that up to Aaron.”