While ambitious plans with Fidelia did not work out in the spring, that will not deter her trainer from raising the bar in the autumn.
Fidelia returns to racing at Caulfield on Saturday in the Group Three Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield and while 1200m may be short of the mare’s best distance, Robbie Griffiths is looking at the race as the perfect springboard.
“Normally in these types of lead-up races she runs out the back then finishes off and runs third, fourth or fifth and she’ll probably do the same,” Griffiths said.
“She’s got the ability to win but its just a bit short of her best distances but it hopefully sets her up well for the remainder of her campaign.”
Fidelia worked her way into spring recognition off the back of four successive wins during an early winter campaign, culminating in a 1600m-victory at Flemington in May.
Her campaign ended after she ran 10th on a wet track in the Group One Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 2.
“She had a great winter and she had some fantastic performances in the spring but didn’t get the accolades because of bad luck in running, bad barriers, and rain on Derby day,” Griffiths said.
“It was a shame because I think her performances equated to a horse that should have won one, two or three during the prep.
“She’s had a rest, she’s come back and has been working well.”
Griffiths said Fidelia would progress to the Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 29 after which he will consider taking her to Sydney.
“We’ll follow the mares races through Melbourne and then all going head to Sydney and hopefully to those Group One mares races.”