Trainer Stuart Kendrick has had a mixed day at Doomben with an upset win and a beaten favourite.
Italia Bella ($1.80), who had been placed twice in stakes company, had no luck when trapped three and four deep for the trip before finishing second in a maiden over 1200m on Friday.
Kendrick will now assess how Italia Bella does in the next few days before deciding whether to head to Sydney for the autumn carnival.
The trainer started the day on a high note when Lips ‘N’ Hips ($20) scored a surprise win over 1100m.
The speedy Metis ($1.45) was expected to be too fast but after leading by three lengths into the straight she slowed and finished fourth.
Kendrick was quick to give credit for the win to owner Mark Meldon.
“She was having her first start for me and I thought this might be a bit too strong,” Kendrick said.
“But Mark was very keen to run here and he has been proved correct.”
The trainer now heads to Saturday’s Sunshine Coast meeting with first starter Share The Blame and Banda Spice and Spur Le Jouer in the Cup.
A strong track gallop on Tuesday convinced Kendrick to throw Share The Blame in the deep end and she will tackle an above-average field in the $125,000 2YO Classic.
The filly was bred by leading Australian studmaster Stuart Ramsay.
“Stuart sometimes sends me some well-bred horses and this is one of them,” Kendrick said.
“She is very well bred on her dam’s side and her sire Shamexpress is expected to be a top stallion.
“She worked strongly on the course proper on Tuesday and I decided to accept,” he said.
Kendrick, who is well on the way to winning a fifth Sunshine Coast premiership, also has high hopes for his Cup runners.
“Banda Spice has probably reached her level now but she likes the track. Spur Le Jouer has won eight races all at the Sunshine Coast and six of them at 1400 metres,” Kendrick said.