After an impressive start to her racing career, expectations for Alaskan Rose were high.
The Mike Moroney-trained three-year-old scored a debut win at Sandown, backed up by a victory at Caulfield.
Connections began to believe she could be competitive in the big fillies races during the spring but then her campaign began to unravel.
The daughter of Encosta De Lago finished eighth in the Thousand Guineas Prelude and beat one runner home in the Group One Thousand Guineas two weeks later.
After a pleasing first-up run over 1100m last month, Alaskan Rose will return to the stakes racing arena in the Group Three The Vanity over 1400m at Flemington on Saturday.
Moroney said the filly became her own worst enemy in the latter stages of the spring.
“She’s come back stronger and more relaxed and that seems to be the key with her,” Moroney said.
“She seemed to get wound up at the finish (of her last campaign) as we were about to start chasing black type and might have come to the end of it as she got on the toe in both her runs at Caulfield.”
Moroney has seen a difference in Alaskan Rose this preparation and the change he noted in her first-up run has carried over into her subsequent trackwork.
“As long as she stays that way she’ll be an interesting runner on Saturday,” he said.
The Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 5 is on the agenda for Alaskan Rose, as is a trip to Sydney where she has been nominated for the Doncaster Mile, ATC Australian Derby and Australian Oaks.
Moroney says her future program hinges on Saturday’s performance.
Mark Zahra has picked up the Flemington mount with regular rider Steven Arnold unable to make the weight and Nick Hall taking an early start to a careless riding suspension.