An impressive debut from Divine Quality at Bendigo came as no surprise to her trainer Robbie Griffiths who is now preparing the filly for a tougher assignment in town.
Divine Quality won a fillies 1100m-maiden by three lengths on April 19 and is the early favourite for Saturday’s Indian Summer Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
Griffiths is hoping for a similar performance but is more reserved in his expectations for Saturday compared to the filly’s debut because she will be racing down the straight course at Flemington for the first time.
“She has trained on really well and is a filly who has always impressed us,” Griffiths said.
“She went to Bendigo on debut and did everything beautifully. I don’t know how strong the race was but she won with a lot of dominance.
“I’m always a bit wary of horses in their first run down the straight at Flemington, but at least drawing in the middle in barrier six she should be able to use other horses to help guide her.
“It would be no surprise to see her in a top-three finish. It’s very hard to win at your second start, but she’s a lovely filly and she has worked well so we’re pretty happy about going into Saturday.”
Griffiths was pleased to see Divine Quality take what she had shown him at home to the races on debut and believes the rising four-year-old will continue to improve as she matures.
“She bounced, put herself straight on the speed and then zipped away at Bendigo,” Griffiths said.
“She’s come through it well so I’d like to think that she’ll do the same again with a bit of luck, but you never get that confident going to Flemington because it’s her first time down the straight in only her second start.
“But I think she’s a filly with a future, whatever happens on Saturday.”
Griffiths bought Divine Quality as a yearling for owner Craig Pearce for $185,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions sale and they have been patient with the filly.
“She’s not even mature yet,” Griffiths said.
“I think she will be a far better four-year-old mare and even five-year-old.”