Emerging filly Elizabeel is rock-hard fit and trainer John Sargent believes she deserves a chance on the big stage in the $1 million Bondi Stakes at Randwick.
Sargent said the filly had recovered superbly from her narrow third to Forbidden Love in the Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) on Saturday and he had no concerns about a quick back-up.
He confirmed this weekend’s rich three year-old feature at Randwick will be the final run of her spring campaign.
Elizabeel was the $5 favourite for the Reginald Allen and arguably should have won after racing keenly and striking traffic in a muddling affair dictated by the winner.
“They ran along early, then they stopped. She got caught in the middle and only got a shot at them late,” Sargent said.
The dual provincial winner is also nominated for the Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) on Saturday’s program but following last weekend’s performance, Sargent is keen to step her up to 1600m.
“She’s pulled up as good as gold from Saturday,” he said.
“I don’t think this race is overly strong and it should suit her getting out to the mile now.
“We won’t have to do much this week, just a bit of pace work and it’s all systems go.
“Saturday will be grand final day then she’ll go for a break and hopefully we’ll have a good horse in the autumn.”
Robbie Dolan, who has ridden the filly in six of her seven starts, is back on board for Saturday’s feature.
Elizabeel is the first horse Sargent has trained for timber merchants Paul and Karen Shadbolt, who bred the daughter of Irish 2000 Guineas winner Power out of Zabeel mare Now And Again.
The Shadbolts have a share in Epsom Handicap and Theo Marks Stakes runner-up Funstar and they also raced Group One winners Youngstar and Hampton Court.
Stablemate Brandenburg continued his march towards the $7.5 million Golden Eagle with a solid hitout at the Hawkesbury trials on Monday.
The multiple Group One-placed four-year old wasn’t far from Cox Plate contender Probabeel in his last two outings and is currently a $15 chance for the Golden Eagle, which is restricted to four-year-olds.