Mosheen has emerged as the main danger to unbeaten filly Atlantic Jewel in the Thousand Guineas after a runaway win in the Group Two Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
Owner Phil Sly and jockey Danny Nikolic both recommended blinkers go back on Mosheen after she wore them with great effect at her first two starts for former trainer Leon Corstens to a debut win at Caulfield and second to Sepoy in the Golden Slipper.
Sly transferred the Fastnet Rock filly to Robert Smerdon for her spring preparation after Corstens became ill.
Smerdon took the blinkers off until Sunday but he admitted he was worried the gear may have made her pull at her first attempt at 1600 metres.
Nikolic had Mosheen ($5) travelling well off race leader Taylor’s Command and she raced clear in the straight for an impressive 2-3/4 length win over Bliss Street ($5.50).
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Celebrity Girl ($2.50 fav), a stablemate of the unbeaten Atlantic Jewel, was three-quarters of a length away third.
“I took them off her and then (after) her last start Danny said we need them back so I sort of succumbed and it looked like it was the right call,” Smerdon said.
“I thought she was a little bit keen in the blinkers in the early part of the race so that was a bit of a worry but she switched off mid-race and I think having had that run with the blinkers on and having had that run over the mile she might be a little bit more tractable.
“Definitely the Thousand Guineas is her main aim and we’re hoping with her pedigree that she’ll stretch out and even be here on Oaks day.”
Atlantic Jewel is the reigning $1.75 favourite for the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12 ahead of Mosheen $4.60.
“Atlantic Jewel is something else,” Smerdon said.
“There’s an old saying in racing, you never miss a race because of one horse but Atlantic Jewel is some horse.”
Nikolic said Mosheen, who he has ridden in each of her six starts for two wins and three placings, began well as usual.
“When I asked her to come back just off the leader she relaxed beautifully,” he said.
“They didn’t go that hard and they made it a real sprint from the last 400 metres and I was left in front earlier than I would have liked but with the blinkers she was a bit more focused.
“She is a good ride in the Thousand Guineas. Kav’s horse (Atlantic Jewel) is the horse to beat, but if we can beat it we will probably win the race.”