Barry Lockwood has taken the harder of two options at Doomben for Hidden Pearl as he contemplates a trip to Melbourne for the mare.
Since being transferred from the Northern Rivers to Lockwood’s Eagle Farm stable, Hidden Pearl has won four times and been placed twice in six starts for her new trainer.
Hidden Pearl runs in Saturday’s 1050m-open sprint in preference to a restricted race on the program.
“I decided to take on the better horses as this is her test for a Melbourne trip. If she can’t race well it isn’t much use us going,” Lockwood said.
“I have said all along she has the ability to win a black type race. Hopefully it will be this campaign.”
Senior apprentice Beau Appo will stand in for Lookwood’s apprentice Bridget Grylls who is recovering from a broken wrist.
“With Beau’s claim she will have just 51 kilograms on Saturday and there is a stack of pace in the race which means we should get the run of the race from barrier three,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood has plans to take Hidden Pearl to Flemington on November 5 for a Group Three race for fillies and mares on the Oaks day program.
The five-year-old has been tested once in stakes company when third in the Listed Bright Shadow Quality at Doomben in May.