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Talented filly Booker has shown she can mix it with the colts and geldings and her connections are preparing to test her again.

Booker finished second to unbeaten colt Merchant Navy in the Group Three McNeil Stakes (1200m) on September 2 and could line up in Saturday’s Group Two Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

That would again mean taking on the three-year-old males, although the straight-track sprint is also set to feature Group One Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Catchy.

“We’ll maybe run her in the Danehill,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said.

“There is also a 1400-metre race the following week at Caulfield, so it will either be the Danehill or the week after.

“She has come through her first-up run really well and her run was great.

“The winner had a good run and got a bit of cover and I think had we drawn a better gate and got a bit of cover it would have been interesting.”

Booker was forced to race three-wide and she burst to the front in the straight before Merchant Navy sprinted quickly to overhaul her.

Booker still rallied to be beaten a head, with 1-1/4 lengths to third-placed Muraahib.

“We didn’t worry about (taking on the colts) the other day,” Zahra said.

“We thought she was probably good enough to win.

“She’s a quality filly.”

Should Booker run in the Danehill the plan would then be to step up to 1400m to test her Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) credentials.

“That’s probably going to be the key, whether she’s going to get a mile,” Zahra said.

“Each run will just determine whether she keeps stepping it up.

“If she can relax and do all that, we’ll plot a path to the Thousand Guineas. If not we’ll just keep her to sprints and try to get up to a mile next campaign.

“But I’m pretty confident she can get to a mile.”

Catchy’s performance on Saturday will have a bearing on whether she contests the richer Caulfield Guineas against the males or goes for the Thousand Guineas for fillies.

 
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