Trainer Michael Freedman is adamant Sweet Reply only needs a change in fortune to make her presence felt during the Sydney autumn.
The filly’s record stands at one win from eight starts but she has been the bridesmaid five times, four of them in close finishes.
To add salt to the wound, her form is littered with reports from the stewards, including being held up for a run on several occasions.
Her series of near-misses is still fresh in Freedman’s mind as he prepares Sweet Reply for her comeback to racing in Saturday’s Group Two Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
“She was very unlucky in a Listed race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day and just got pipped in the Sandown Guineas,” Freedman said.
“She didn’t have a lot of luck so we’re hoping for a bit more this time around.”
However, Sweet Reply was given no favours at the barrier draw, coming up with gate 12 in the field of 14 plus two emergencies.
Freedman admits it will limit their tactical options and says Tommy Berry will have little alternative than to ride a patient race.
“It’s not great. She’s probably just going to have to be ridden quiet from out there, ridden back with some cover and be finishing off,” he said.
“If she can put in a nice first-up run I feel whatever she does, the run will bring her on a bit more.”
The race-fit Away Game has come in for early market support, firming from an opening quote of $3.70 into $3.30 and usurping Hungry Heart ($3.80) as favourite.
Sweet Reply could be set for a second up clash with stablemate Forbidden Love, who is back in Sydney and heading towards the Surround Stakes after finishing midfield in a rough-house Magic Millions Guineas.