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If stamina can match class, trainer John Thompson is certain Honesta will be in the finish of the Group One Flight Stakes on Saturday.

Honesta is on a VRC Oaks path but Thompson expects her to figure in the important Randwick three-year-old fillies race he won last year with the brilliant First Seal.

The challenge for Honesta will not be an easy one and Thompson concedes the Gai Waterhouse-trained Speak Fondly is a benchmark filly despite being asked to extend her brilliance to 1600 metres for the first time.

In line to give Waterhouse her eighth Flight Stakes win, Speak Fondly is a clear-cut top pick after beating all bar Exosphere in the Golden Rose.

Thompson concedes that makes Speak Fondly a deserved favourite, even if she is unknown over the testing Randwick 1600m course.

“Obviously Gai’s horse is the one to beat coming out of the Golden Rose which is good form but she’s got to run a mile,” Thompson said.

Honesta already has two 1600m wins alongside her name and she turned in one of the best Flight Stakes trials when she ran on late to finish second in the Tea Rose Stakes.

Thompson said Honesta’s Tea Rose run confirmed his opinion of the filly which started out in the Queensland branch of his two-state training operation.

“She’s a very nice staying filly and she will just keep getting better as the distances get longer,” Thompson said.

“I’m sure she will be the one hitting the line.”

First Seal continued a winning run of Flight Stakes favourites and Honesta is at a far more generous quote despite vying for second favouritism behind Speak Fondly.

Honesta will be one of three Group One runners at Randwick for Thompson.

Hooked aiming to improve on his 2014 minor placing in the Epsom Handicap and Orbec is rated among the better chances in the Metropolitan.

 
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