Having already made her mark in a couple of Highway Handicaps in Sydney this preparation, Canberra filly Clipper is set to hit the road in the opposite direction for her first crack at Melbourne racing.
Trainer Matthew Dale, who later this week will welcome stable star Fell Swoop back into work, is planning to start Clipper in Saturday’s 1100m-handicap for three-year-old fillies at Caulfield.
Lightly raced Clipper has won four of her six starts including two Highway Handicaps at Randwick in the past month in her only starts this campaign.
“Straight after she won her second Highway race we had this race earmarked,” Dale said.
“She has been doing some work the Melbourne way and at this stage we head to Caulfield for Saturday.”
The trainer said Clipper deserved her chance in Saturday’s $100,000 race against her own age and sex and said the timing of the race made it a good target.
“It was three weeks between runs from the Highway race to this race and it just looked like a nice race for her over 1100 metres against her own age and sex,” Dale said.
“She’s a natural little racehorse who is very honest and she’s progressing through the grades nicely.
“She certainly warrants a crack in an open three-year-old fillies race.”
Saturday’s race has attracted 31 nominations and Dale has booked 1.5kg claiming apprentice Ben Thompson for the ride on Clipper.
Both of Clipper’s Randwick wins have been on rain-affected going but Dale said the filly is not just a wet-tracker.
Fell Swoop returns to work later this week after completing pre-training and is being aimed at the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October.
Auction house William Inglis and Son last week confirmed Fell Swoop would take the Inglis slot in the subscription-only sprint.
“It’s a great coup to be able to get that slot,” Dale said.
“He’s in pre-training at the moment and will come down to my stable later this week.
“It’s good to not have to try to race your way into a slot. Now we can just focus on getting him there third-up in good order.”