Robbie Griffiths has opted against a Sydney autumn carnival appearance for Girl In Flight, convinced the filly has a better chance of a big race win in Adelaide.
Girl In Flight heads to the Group Three Schweppervescence Stakes on Saturday over 1800m with her ultimate aim the Group One Australasian Oaks (2000m) later this month.
Griffiths had been considering a start in the Vinery Stud Stakes, won on Saturday by Lucia Valentina, on the way to the ATC Oaks.
But after Girl In Flight’s last-start third in the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, Griffiths said the decision was a pretty easy one.
“She weakened into third (at Moonee Valley) so the question mark still remains if she’s going to be strong beyond the mile,” Griffiths said.
“The Vinery was 2000 metres and it leads into a 2400.
“Adelaide is 1800 metres and leads into 2000 in the Australasian Oaks so if you’re a little bit suspicious or unproven at the distance it makes more sense to stick to a more familiar journey to run over.
“On top of that, it’s the same direction.”
Griffiths said he could not fault how Girl In Flight had come through her Moonee Valley outing, where she finished less than a length behind Marianne and Suavito and in front of Solicit.
Those three fillies all contested the Vinery in Sydney with Solicit finishing best when second.
“With a bit of luck, our main danger will probably be May’s Dream over in Adelaide,” Griffiths said.
“Girl In Flight has trained on terrific since Moonee Valley and she galloped beautifully on Saturday morning.”
Girl In Flight won her first three starts in restricted grade last year and has been placed in two of her three stakes starts this campaign along with a solid fourth in the Group Two Kewney Stakes.
The Darren Weir-trained May’s Dream, runner-up in the Thousand Guineas and Wakeful Stakes last preparation, has also been aimed at the Australasian Oaks and scored a second-up win at Moonee Valley last Saturday week.
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