Quality mare Noble Protector will be entering unchartered waters when she returns to racing at Flemington.
A dual winner first-up from four attempts, Noble Protector will be having her first start at a trip shorter than 1600m when she lines up in the Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
Noble Protector is the $3.60 favourite for her return.
“It was a matter of finding the most suitable kick-off race for her,” trainer Robert Smerdon said.
“Last preparation we found a good mile race and she ran over 1600 (metres) every time.
“The 1400 becomes the query with the different tempo and she has drawn one, so she could get buried away.
“You run that risk but we want to run in the Toorak and it looked to be the right kick-off point.”
Smerdon said Noble Protector could head straight to the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on October 10 without another run, although there was the possibility she could start in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 26.
He said her Toorak performance would determine whether she heads to the Cox Plate or the Myer Classic.
“The Cox Plate is everyone’s dream race right from when they win a 1000 metre two-year-old stakes race,” he said.
“The reality is, it’s a tough race and maybe the Myer Classic is a more realistic target.”