A 1600m race for three-year-old fillies at Caulfield could provide a pointer towards upcoming feature races in Adelaide.
The Phillip Stokes-trained Music Bay was the $3.20 favourite on Friday for Saturday's Jack Elliott Handicap, with the filly stepping up to 1600m for the first time this campaign after racing to a four-length win in a 1300m-midweek race at Sandown last start.
Stokes has the Group Two Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares in Adelaide on May 4 in mind for Music Bay, a race that is on the same program as the Group One Australasian Oaks (2000m) for fillies.
Last-start Sandown winner Zargos, prepared by Lindsay Park trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, is one of the fillies who could press their Oaks claims in Saturday's race but has to contend with the widest barrier.
Zargos came from back in the field to win a 1600m benchmark 70 against her own age and sex last start at Sandown on April 3.
“She's a really talented filly,” Dabernig said in Lindsay Park's stable update.
“It was a good win last start but we'll have to ride her patiently and produce her late. And she's on target to go towards the South Australian Oaks.”
Lindsay Park also has Nasaayim in the race with the filly coming off an unplaced run in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide second-up.
“She should be able to get a soft run from that gate (barrier two),” Dabernig said.
“She won first-up. She had to do a bit of work last start. She's very fit and this looks a nice race for her.”
The David Brideoake-trained Princess Jenni, a late scratching from the recent Adrian Knox Stakes in Sydney, has top weight of 60kg in Saturday's race and she is high up in early markets for the Australasian Oaks.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Plein Ciel was the $3.80 favourite on race eve ahead of Night's Watch ($6.50) who drops in grade after unplaced runs in the Group One Australian Cup and Ranvet Stakes in his past two starts.