Trainer Robbie Laing acknowledges the task ahead as he tackles the Lightning Stakes first-up with Missrock.
Opponents in the Group One Lightning Stakes over the straight 1000m course at Flemington on Saturday include Darley Classic winner Redzel, last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior, Manikato Stakes winner Hey Doc, last year’s winner Terravista and his Joe Pride-trained stablemate Ball Of Muscle.
Laing believes he has Missrock in peak physical condition for her first-up tilt at the race after the mare finished third in a Cranbourne 800m trial last Monday.
Missrock has won four of her 21 starts, with all those victories coming first-up from a spell.
She won on debut at Caulfield as a two-year-old in October 2015 with her next victory coming at Randwick the following April.
She won over 1100m at Flemington last March while her most recent victory came in the Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in August.
Having been tried as a stayer, Missrock has proven a quality sprinter includuing when second to Vega Magic in the Group One Goodwood at Morphettville last May.
Laing said Missrock had spelled well since her last-start ninth to Redzel in the Darley Classic at Flemington in November and looked more like a stallion than a four-year-old mare.
“She’s a big strong girl and everything has gone right this preparation,” Laing said.
Laing said Missrock’s third in the trial had brought the mare on.
“We were conscious to hold her together and leave plenty in reserve,” Laing said.
“She’s performs brilliantly first-up and we didn’t want her to go out and do something like she would on a race day.
“She’s right on target and I know it’s a top field and she’ll want to be at her top, but her top always seems to be first-up.”