From the moment Miss Inbetween finished in the placings at her second trial trainer Michael Mehegan has been thinking of The Showdown.
But there have been some anxious moments for Mehegan ahead of the $855,000 race for two-year-olds at Caulfield on Saturday.
The trainer was concerned she might not gain a start and like everyone has been on tenterhooks about racing continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We knew this was going to be the grand final and we’ve been hoping over the past three weeks that racing would continue and that she’d get in,” Mehegan said.
Miss Inbetween may be a maiden, but the filly was the fourth highest qualifier and Mehegan says she has the form to give the race a shake.
The Showdown first came on Mehegan’s radar after Miss Inbetween finished third to Mildred in a Pakenham trial in January.
After she was placed in her first two starts at Sandown over 1200m, and 1300m, Mehegan contacted the handicappers to inquire about Miss Inbetween’s prospects to make Saturday’s field.
Once he was assured of a likely start, Mehegan gave the filly some time off before again focusing on The Showdown.
In preparation for Saturday’s race, Mehegan ran Miss Inbetween in the VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo (1000m) on March 28.
“We knew it would be too short for her, but we were pretty confident she’d run top ten to get another $5000,” Mehegan said.
“That got her in and we’ve opted to put the blinkers on her for the first time.
“It’s a restricted race where you have to be by a Victorian-based sire which subsequently rules out half the horse pool.
“It’s a pretty hard race to do the form on, but I’m pretty confident in her form and know that she’ll run a strong 1200 (metres) out.”
“She’ll come back as a better three-year-old and in the spring I hope she’ll be a 1400-metre, 1600-metre horse.”
RV vets completed their inspections on all runners on Friday morning.
After Ideas Man showed signs of lameness on Thursday, trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace elected to scratch the colt while Beau Rossa was withdrawn by trainer Will Clarken after being injured en route from Adelaide.
Those scratchings mean the Robbie Griffiths pair of Miss Kansas and Halvoya gain starts.