Impressive juvenile debut winner Fontiton can cement her favouritism for the Blue Diamond Stakes when she makes her return in the Fillies Preview.
The Robert Smerdon-trained two-year-old made a one-act affair of the rich Inglis Banner at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day in October, winning by six lengths.
The filly is being readied for her anticipated return at Sandown on January 26.
“If she progresses well and everything falls into place her first-up aim will be the Preview on Australia Day,” Smerdon said.
The trainer had considered running Fontiton in the Maribyrnong Plate to chase black type after her commanding Moonee Valley win, but scrapped those plans believing she had done enough in her first preparation.
“She’s a fair lump of a filly and I didn’t really expect her to be up and going as an early two-year-old but she just kept coping with the job at hand so she ended up at the races,” Smerdon said.
“Physically she doesn’t look like just a jump-and-run precocious two-year-old. She looks like she has got the scope to go on with it as a three-year-old. And hopefully that’s the case.”
Fontiton is the $5 favourite for the Blue Diamond in one early market ahead of the Mick Price-trained filly Secret Agenda who scored a convincing debut win at Moonee Valley last month.
The well-bred colt Headwater, who also won on debut at Moonee Valley in December, is at $9.
The Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is at Caulfield on February 28, three weeks before the $3.5 million Golden Slipper in Sydney.
Fontiton’s older stakes winning stablemates Politeness and Fontein Ruby are due to kick off their autumn campaigns on February 14 at Caulfield.
Fontein Ruby will run in the Group Three Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) for fillies while Politeness resumes in the Group Three Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) for mares.
The Coolmore Classic in Sydney is an autumn target for Politeness.