David Brideoake believes Griante is ready to make her presence felt in the How Now Stakes at Caulfield, but the trainer admits another wide barrier is not ideal.
Griante won at Group Three level during the autumn and was also placed in Group One and Group Two company but is chasing her first win of the spring on Saturday.
The mare was unplaced in the Regal Roller Stakes then weakened in the last 100m after a wide run from a deep draw in the Cockram Stakes second-up to finish ninth.
Brideoake was pleased with the mare’s last-start placing in a Listed race at Moonee Valley won by promising Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop and says the five-year-old heads into Saturday’s Group Three How Now Stakes (1200m) nice and fit.
The trainer sees barrier 11 in the field of 15 as the only negative.
“She’s really ready for a result. I think she’s very close to being at peak fitness and I think her ability takes her into the race in good shape,” Brideoake said.
“But I would think the barrier is her only drawback.”
Brideoake admitted plans to target Group One sprints with Griante this spring “may have waned a little” but will be guided by her performance on Saturday.
“I think tomorrow will be a good day to see how she goes, and we’ll make our plans from tomorrow on,” he said.
“Once she recaptures her form of last autumn, of course we’d aim at something a little higher.”
Griante is at $10 with Vezalay the $4 favourite ahead of Hazard ($6.50) and Wawail ($8).
Brideoake is looking forward to running Thames Court in Saturday’s MRC Foundation Plate (1400m) with the filly stepping to city grade after a strong 2-3/4 length on-speed debut win in a maiden on the synthetic track at Pakenham on August 30.
“She’s a good style of filly with a lot of upside,” Brideoake said.
“I’m expecting her to improve through the spring and I think she should be at her best in the autumn.”
“There’s a couple of nice races as the spring goes on that I’ve been thinking about, but it all depends a bit on how she goes tomorrow and where we see her measuring up in this group of fillies.”