Mitchell Bell’s alliance with promising sprinter-miler Artlee could have a side benefit for the jockey at Randwick.
Bell usually makes his living around NSW provincial racetracks each Saturday but he has been lured to Sydney to ride Artlee when last season’s Country Championship winner resumes in the City Tattersalls Club Lightning.
As a bonus, Bell has secured the ride on the in-form mare Frill Seeking, one of the best outsiders in the Group Three Nivison.
Trainer Matthew Smith will give Frill Seeking her chance at stakes level after starting her campaign with wins at Canterbury and Wyong.
Now a five-year-old, Frill Seeking is delivering on early promise after losing form during a summer campaign.
Smith said he blamed himself for Frill Seeking not having a better record than her three wins from 12 starts.
“I’m leaving her alone this preparation and that’s why she is going well,” Smith said.
“I let her do her own thing and that’s what she likes to do.
“She has always looked like being a really nice mare and I’ve just mucked her up.”
Frill Seeking’s wins have been part of a resurgence for the stable with Smith, best known as the trainer of Group One-winning mare Hurtle Myrtle, training 11 winners since the start of the season.
Bell will be having his first ride on Frill Seeking although it will be a familiar seat he takes on Artlee.
In six rides on Artlee, Bell has won three races and his record on the Muswellbrook galloper would be even better if it wasn’t for misfortune during the Scone Cup carnival in May.
A wrist injury out of a fall forced him to give up the ride in the Luskin Star Stakes, the Listed race that Artlee won before going to the spelling paddock.
The Nivison has attracted a capacity field with Sultry Feeling and Fiftyshadesofgrey confirmed to run at Randwick after being scratched from the Alinghi Stakes at Caulfield.
Sultry Feeling is expected to vie for favouritism with Fine Mist after producing a typical late-charging finish third in the Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle.
Her stablemate Ruling Dynasty will figure in a change of riding tactics in the City Tattersalls Club Cup.
Ruling Dynasty struggled to make an impression at weight-for-age behind Godolphin stablemates Complacent and Hauraki and the Melbourne Cup entry will be ridden closer to the front as he returns to handicap conditions.