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Matt Dale starts his road trip to Randwick in a positive frame of mind and the Canberra trainer will be even happier if Clipper can negotiate traffic in the Highway Handicap.

The promising filly starts her second preparation on Saturday by attempting to win score at Highway level at the third attempt over 1200 metres.

Clipper won over 1000m on debut at Wagga in December and backed it up with an 1100m win at Nowra in January before consecutive thirds at Randwick.

Dale watched stablemates Goldmine and Limelight run one-two in a maiden on the Acton track at Canberra on Friday.

He believes Clipper is capable of giving him his seventh Highway Handicap, a week after Hay Now won at Rosehill.

“She’s been competitive in the Highways without winning,” Dale said.

“She’s gone for a break and matured a little bit. I’d like to think she’ll be competitive.

“She looks quite well placed down in the weights and from a soft draw.”

Dale, who has multiple Group One runner-up Fell Swoop as the star of his stable, was enthused by Clipper’s first preparation but still kept a lid on expectations for the three-year-old.

“I’d like to think there’s a Highway race or two in her,” he said.

“She’s had a good, balanced preparation.

“We just progress our horses through the grades and hopefully they keep jumping the bar that we set and build their confidence.

“She’s a classic example of that. She’s a natural little racehorse.

Dale said Goldmine would head for a spell after her success on Friday while Limelight was destined to step up in distance over the next fortnight.

 
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