Trainer Simon Zahra was finding it hard to split the chances of stablemates Mrs Beckham and Parmie ahead of their clash at Caulfield.
And with good reason.
Mrs Beckham, coming off a maiden win at at the same track on December 18, held off a late charge from Parmie in Saturday’s Margaret Hogan Handicap (1400m) to beat her by a short-head in a stable quinella for co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Zahra.
Zahra believes both fillies will progress to better things later in the season, with an Oaks campaign on the radar for Mrs Beckham.
While Mrs Beckham ($3) enjoyed an uninterrupted run under jockey Chris Symons from barrier three, Parmie ($8) was inside her stablemate from barrier one and struck traffic at the top of the straight before getting clear to make her challenge.
“I just thought Mrs Beckham from the draw was just going to get a better run but I think Parmie is probably the better filly in time,” Zahra said.
“Parmie got out and really hit the line and ran through the line.
“But Mrs Beckham keeps taking every step. It’s good to have two nice fillies in the stable.
“Mrs Beckham is out of a Zabeel mare and I think once she gets over a bit of ground she’s going to be a really good filly.
“We’ll maybe give her a freshen up and maybe target one of the Oaks.”
Zahra expects Parmie will also be able to make her presence felt at some stage during the autumn.
“We thought she was a Thousand Guineas horse in the spring but it just came up a fraction quickly for her,” he said.
“We gave her a spell and she has come back in good order but just hasn’t had any luck her last two runs.
“There’s a good race in her, that’s for sure.”
The stablemates drew clear of their rivals late, with last-start Flemington winner Kuramae two lengths away third.