Trainer Bjorn Baker is looking forward to stepping out Belluci Babe in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday, where he is looking for an improved performance from the mare.
Carrying the silks of breeder-owners Little Avondale Stud, the daughter of Per Incanto put in a subpar unplaced run in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick earlier this month and Baker believes she can bounce back this weekend.
She had been in pleasing form in autumn, winning the Group 3 Weona Girl Quality (1200m) and placing in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) and Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).
She also ran fourth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
She resumed with a trial win over 785m at Hawkesbury last month before running third in her 1000m heat at Gosford.
While Baker was perplexed by her first-up run, he is keeping a cool head.
“She is super consistent and there were no obvious excuses (for her run in the Missile Stakes). Since then she has been fine,” Baker told RacingHQ.
“We have had a lot of really good looks at her and we can’t fault her. She is bright and well and maybe 1200m first-up was a tough ask.
“It was a funny race, a lot of the favoured horses just never quite fired like you would have expected.
“We can’t panic and she seems fine.”
Baker has been pleased with the way the six-year-old mare has been working in the lead-up to Saturday.
“She galloped really well on Tuesday. She has got a good gate (3) and Jason Collett goes on,” he said.
“She is a high-class mare so I am just hoping she can get back to that level. If she does, she will be awfully hard to beat.”
Little Avondale Stud principals Sam and Catriona Williams will also be keeping a close eye on Melbourne where Roch ‘N’ Horse will resume in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley for trainer Michael Moroney.
The six-year-old mare is also a product of the Wairarapa farm’s resident stallion Per Incanto, and gave the couple immense enjoyment when landing the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington earlier this year.
Moroney will also line-up fellow Kiwi-bred The Good Fight over 2040m at The Valley.