Connections of Blue Diamond winner Lyre are hoping the addition of blinkers will help the three-year-old return to the winner’s list for the first time in more than a year in another Group One.
Lyre is set for Saturday’s Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville and trainer Anthony Freedman has opted to apply blinkers to the filly after her first-up fourth in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.
“She will have the blinkers on for the first time which we’re hoping will help her focus and give her that little bit extra,” Freedman’s son and assistant, Sam Freedman, said.
“She worked enormous in them this week, so we’re pretty happy going into a race which is pretty strong at the top but probably tails off fairly quickly.”
The filly is yet to win as a three-year-old from seven starts but has not been far away in a number of feature races including finishing fourth in two Group Ones.
“On the face of it she hasn’t won since the Blue Diamond last year, but she has never run poorly,” Freedman said.
“We tried to stretch her out to 1600 metres in the spring and even though she ran fourth in the Thousand Guineas, she’s going to be better at shorter trips.”
Lyre is the only three-year-old in the field but she has an even younger rival in two-year-old Away Game who is also taking on the older mares under weight-for-age conditions.
Away Game was at $5 on Wednesday behind three-time Group One winner Sunlight at $2.90.
Lyre is one of two genuine chances for owners Godolphin, with the James Cummings-trained multiple stakes winner and dual Group One placegetter Savatiano the other.
Savatiano is coming off a sixth in the Sapphire Stakes in Sydney while earlier in the autumn she won the Millie Fox Stakes and was narrowly beaten by The Bostonian at weight-for-age in the Group One Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Stable representative Darren Beadman felt a heavy track was against Savatiano last start.
“We’ve given her a three-week freshen up which should be a help,” Beadman said.
“This is a strong, Group One race and she’s not out of place in it.”