The trainer-jockey combination of Mark Newnham and Tommy Berry have teamed up for a midweek win with speedy filly Deniki but they will be in opposing corners at Randwick.
Berry will partner Dame Giselle in the Group Two Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) on Saturday, the filly bidding to remain undefeated in the four-race Princess series after claiming the first two legs.
Newnham is out to upset the apple cart with two rival runners in Gimcrack Stakes winner Every Rose and up-and-coming three-year-old Miravalle.
Dame Giselle is on the second line of early betting behind favourite Hungry Heart, while Newnham’s pair are outsiders despite the trainer’s confidence they can be competitive.
Deniki proved more than competitive when she fought back for a narrow victory in the Vinery Stallions Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
Her will to win was beneficial at the finish but Berry said it caused some headaches in the run.
“She’s still got to learn to control herself better midrace,” Berry said.
“Because she’s so brilliant out of the gates she gets the first furlong to herself but once that pressure gets applied she just wants to race a bit for the next couple of furlongs.
“I thought she was beaten a couple of times but through her toughness, which she lacked last preparation, she fought back and was able to win.”
A three-quarter sister to Group One placegetter Menari, who was also bred and owned by Corumbene Stud’s George Altomonte, Deniki showed tenacity to beat Osamu by a short head.
Newnham echoed Berry’s sentiments that Deniki had the makings of a smart filly provided she learned to conserve energy early in the race.
“She got the job done and she beat a nice colt,” Newnham said.
“As long as she learns to contain that speed she is going to make a really nice filly.”
Stephen O’Halloran celebrated his first city win as a trainer when Prince Of Arragon saluted in the Sky Racing Active Handicap (2200m).
O’Halloran worked for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott before taking out his licence and he got the better of Tulloch Lodge on Wednesday when Prince Of Arragon fended off the Waterhouse and Bott-trained Frenzied by a head.