The Fillies and Mares line up for the G3 Millie Fox Stakes and Red Tracer is looking at making it back-to-back victories in this race, having won last year’s edition by a convincing 2 ¼ lengths on a Heavy track over Crafty Irna and has been installed early favourite as $2.20. Only Secret Admirer and Driefontein are under double figure odds at $3.80 and $6.50 respectively.
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1. SECRET ADMIRER – J McDonald (5)
In seven starts last campaign, she ran five placings – three of them in G1 company but she’s still looking for that elusive fourth career win. She gets her chance here, against her own sex at set weights and she hasn’t missed a place in four first up runs. Coupled with her ability to handle wet ground and a solid barrier trial on the 18th Feb, she’s the main danger to the favourite.
2. RED TRACER – N Rawiller (1)
Had her chance first up to run down Steps In Time in the G2 Breeders Classic but come up a head short. She’s won two from five first up, claiming placings on each other occasions and unbeaten in five combined starts on Slow and Heavy. She’s a bomb-proof galloper who from barrier one, will look the winner in the straight.
3. CRAFY IRNA – S Clipperton (8)
She put together a very solid campaign last time in that including winning the Listed Tatt’s Club Cup (2400m). She ran second in this race last year when first up, like she is here today as 20/1 Has only finished outside of the top four twice in her last dozen starts and would expect her to be doing her best work late.
4. LADYS ANGEL – J Collett (2)
Her last win was ten starts back in the Listed Hall Mark Stakes in April 2011 but since, has ran placings in races the calibre of G1 The Galaxy and G2 Sapphire Stakes behind Atlantic Jewel. First up for seven months when fourth in the G2 Breeders Classic behind Steps In Time and Red Tracer. She’ll be better for that outing and chances improve with wet conditions.
5. RISK AVERSION – R McMahon (3)
Well bred Listed winning mare from QLD, who ventures outside of her home state for the first time here. As she always does, got a long way back in both the Listed Fillies and Mares Classic (1200m) and Listed Just Now Handicap (1200m) and finished seventh and sixth respectively at her most recent starts in December. She won’t find this easier than those races.
6. DRIEFONTEIN – T Berry (7)
She won her first four starts and in six subsequent outings, ran a further four placings in races such as the San Domenico (2nd behind Snitzerland) and Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (third to Saluter). Settled handy to the speed last start in the Light Fingers but was no match for Bennetta late and finished fourth (beaten 3 lengths). Will go forward but might not get as a comfortably lead as she will like here and therefore, be suspect late.
7. FLYING SNITZEL – B Avdulla (12)
Beat Dear Demi to claim The Schweppes (G3) back April but hasn’t managed a to secure a place in seven starts since. Returned to racing in the Light Fingers Stakes a fortnight back and settled handy to the speed but felt the pinch late and finished fifth behind Bennetta. She’s drawn wide here and won’t find this any easier than her first up run.
8. ALIYANA TILDE – J Bowman (10)
Improved with each run this time last year and her 2012 Autumn campaign finished with placings in both the G1 Vinery Stakes (2000m) and the G1 AJC Oaks (2400m). Returned in the Spring but after three average efforts, was tipped out again and we haven’t seen her since she finished last in the Shannon Stakes in September. Will need this outing first up.
9. ALESTEEM – (11)
4yo mare from the Gwenda Markwell stable whose four career wins have come at her last eight starts, all of them in restricted company on her home track of Kembla Grange. She faces a monumental rise in grade on her last start win in a BM 75 event at Wyong.
10. TAVARNELLE – (4)
Zabeel mare who faces the starter for the first time since finishing four lengths behind Kasane in an Open Mares race at Flemington in November over 1700m. She also entered for a Stakes race in Melbourne on Saturday and in both cases, will be better for the outing, whichever state they may be in.
11. OMINOUS QUALITY – (6)
She makes the trip from the Victorian stables of the Training partnership of Brideoake and Feek and comes off a second placing to Perfectly Stunning in a RST 82 Fillies and Mares event at Flemington. Would’ve have liked to have seen her win the above race in good style to consider her among the leading chances.
12. FLOOR SHOW – B Shinn (9)
A lightly raced Stravinsky mare from Guy Walter’s yard who has won three of her six starts thus far. Has had two barrier trials in preparation for her return to racing here but, whilst she shows promise, has been thrown in the deep end here and more suitable in something easier.
I don’t think there’s much point looking past the first two runners here – and that’s reflected in the market. Both are class mares with proven records. Red Tracer will sit handy to the speed and Bowman will ensure she get’s here chance in the straight whilst Secret Admirer will be finishing hard. Sticking with the top order to round out the trifecta with Lady’s Angel and Crafty Irna for the placings.