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Co-trainer Tom Dabernig is confident two-year-old Khulaasa has improved from a narrow debut defeat ahead of her bid to snare valuable black-type at Flemington.

Khulaasa closed late in a 1000m race for two-year-old fillies on January 1 at Flemington only to go down by a nose to Crossing The Abbey.

The filly makes her re-appearance in Saturday’s Listed The Asian Executive Stakes (1100m) and has the addition of winkers with Damien Oliver again aboard.

Dabernig rates Khulaasa probably the stable’s leading chance on the Lightning Stakes program.

“She ran really well first-up and we were quite confident going into that race,” Dabernig said.

“Crossing The Abbey had the race experience and in hindsight he probably rode her a fraction patiently or she didn’t quite let down as quickly as we thought she might.

“She took a while to hit top gear but she was only beaten a short margin on the line.

“She has now had the benefit of a run down the straight and to me she looks like she has improved since then.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to get some black type for her and for mine she would probably be our best for the day.”

Khulaasa is not among the stable’s Blue Diamond Stakes nominations and is likely to head towards the TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) for fillies at Flemington next month.

She races in the royal blue and white colours of Shadwell Stud which is likely to be represented by Enbihaar and Qafila in Saturday week’s $1.5 million Group One Blue Diamond Stakes for two-year-olds at Caulfield.

The Lindsay Park team is looking to have four Blue Diamond runners with Long Leaf and Chairman’s Stakes winner Ennis Hill, who both carry the navy blue of Coolmore Stud, also aimed at the race.

Dabernig said Long Leaf and Qafila were scheduled to have a race day gallop at Werribee on Friday.

 
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