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Image: Reg Ryan
A liking for Caulfield and a drier track is expected to suit Felicia when she runs at Caulfield

Felicia and her trainer Dean Binaisse may not be household names, but the pair could be spring players if the result falls their way in the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield.

Binaisse has set Felicia for Saturday’s Group 3 sprint over 1200m, a course and distance Felicia has proven successful at previously.

Felicia will be lining up for only her third run in the past 21 months, and Saturday’s performance will guide Binaisse as to where the mare’s spring campaign will head.

The rising six-year-old spent 15 months away from the racecourse before running second-last in her return run in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 9.

Binaisse explained Felicia was sore behind following her third-place finish in the VOBIS Gold Sprint at Caulfield in April 2021 and scintigraphy could not pin down where the problem lay.

“We decided to give her a good spell, so she missed the spring, and she can’t race in the summer because the tracks are too hard,” Binaisse said.

“I deliberately aimed for earlier in the spring this year knowing the tracks wouldn’t be too hard.”

Binaisse said an improving track on Saturday, rated a Soft 6 on Thursday, would be to Felicia’s liking.

“Craig Williams is on board now, she worked well on Tuesday morning when we gave her a mate to chase down and she hit the line really hard,” Binaisse said.

“She’s spot on. She can roll up outside Sartorial Splendour and I think she’s going to be hard to beat.”

With a win in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) under the belt, Binaisse would like to add to her record in stakes company before retirement.

“What path we take depends on what happens on Saturday,” Binaisse said.

“I’ve got a responsibility to the owners in trying to put her in the right races to keep winning races and keep building on her profile because her (breeding) page is quite weak.

“She’s the main one on the page, so I’ve got to try and build her into a broodmare as well.”

 
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