Dodging some of the best three-year-olds in Australia is set to pay off for Karuta Queen at Rosehill on Saturday.
While Manawanui was fending off Smart Missile and Helmet in last week’s Group One Golden Rose, Karuta Queen was resting in her Queanbeyan stable.
But trainer Neville Layt says it’s all systems go for the $100,000 Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m).
“I deliberately didn’t run her in the Golden Rose because it was 1400 metres,” Layt said.
“I waited for the 1100 (metres) and I’m really confident of winning the Heritage Stakes.”
Karuta Queen kicked strongly after leading in the the Run To The Rose three weeks ago only to be run down by three of the best three-year-olds in training, led home by Smart Missile.
“I thought her run against those boys (Smart Missile, Foxwedge and Helmet) was as good as winning the Magic Millions,” Layt said.
Karuta Queen has drawn second from the outside in a nine-horse Heritage field but is a clear favourite to win for the first time as a three-year-old.
“I just wished she would have drawn a little closer but that’s not going to stop her from winning,” Layt said.
“If it happened that something else wanted to lead her then I’d be happy for her to take a sit, but I’ve never seen that happen yet.”
Karuta Queen turned in a pleasing gallop on her home track on Tuesday morning with Layt’s son Adrian in the saddle.
“Adrian said `she melted the frost’,” Layt said.
Karuta Queen’s Heritage rivals include her Black Opal Stakes conqueror You’re Canny.