Trainer Barry Baldwin is overlooking Saraji’s shock last start defeat and is confident the filly can bounce back in the Listed Mode Plate at Doomben on Saturday.
Saraji started favourite in a 1000m three-year-old Handicap at Eagle Farm on December 3 but returned with a nasty cut to her off hind leg after finishing sixth to Biggles.
“I was very disappointed with her run until I found she had been galloped on after missing the start,” Baldwin said.
“Her leg didn’t swell up that much and she’s come good after treating her for a week.”
Saraji didn’t looked comfortable at any stage during the run but under the circumstances did a good job to go down by just three lengths.
It was her first defeat in four starts this campaign after she strung together three successive wins at Caloundra and Doomben.
The daughter of Hidden Dragon is likely to be spelled following the Mode Plate with Baldwin eyeing a possible Brisbane winter carnival campaign next year.
Saraji, who recorded her fifth win of her career when successful over 1110 metres at Doomben last month, has yet to win over further.
She was beaten almost 10 lengths when sixth to Hot Snitzel in her first attempt over 1200 metres in the Listed Ken Russell Memorial at the Gold Coast in May and 11th to Bell D’Amour in the Listed Lancaster Stakes at Eagle Farm in June.
Baldwin concedes the distance poses some concern but not a slow track or the set weight conditions.
“She’s well in under the set weight conditions. If it was a handicap she’d get a lot more weight with her rating,” Baldwin said.
“I’m not worried by a wet track as she’s won on a heavy.”
Baldwin’s respect for jockey Chris Munce’s judgment has forced him to include the Kelso Wood-trained Lucky Morna among Saraji’s biggest threats.
“I think the topweight, Playtime, is the one to beat as he drops from 58 kilos to 55.5 kilos,” he said.
“Chris rode her last start but he’s switched to Lucky Morna so I suppose I have to respect his decision and she also is one of our dangers.”
Lucky Morna hasn’t raced since finishing eighth in the Lancaster Stakes.
The daughter of Ferocity stamped her ability when second to Fontelina in the Listed The Phoenix Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 following a handy fourth to Benfica in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at Doomben a fortnight earlier.