Noire is poised to make her comeback to racing at Rosehill for trainer Chris Waller who has set the mare an ambitious goal at the Queensland winter carnival.
The four-year-old’s latest campaign was delayed by a minor setback but she is now primed for a season-defining return in Saturday’s Colin Hayes Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m).
The narrow $4.20 favourite over Bon Amis with the TAB on Thursday, Noire will head to Brisbane if she lives up to that billing or at least produces an encouraging performance.
“Things haven’t exactly been perfect for her,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.
“She’s taken forever to mature but she is what she is and there is plenty of upside.”
Sydney’s premier trainer had hoped to bring Noire back about a month ago but an elevated temperature stalled those plans.
Since returning to full fitness, Noire has trialled twice with an impressive outing at Randwick on Tuesday confirming she will race for the the first time since finishing second to Lanciato in a Benchmark 94 Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on January 6.
“She’s a very handy horse. Blake (Shinn) has a massive rap on her,” Duckworth said.
“We’re pretty hopeful though she needs to perform to her best before she heads to Queensland to be tested over better company.”
Noire has five wins and three placings from 10 starts but is yet to step up to Listed or Group company.
“We think she can get to stakes level,” Duckworth said.
That is likely to be in Brisbane where the Group One Tatt’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 23 is the ultimate goal.
A $135,000 yearling at the Easter Sale, Noire is raced by Star Thoroughbreds with syndicator Denese Martin hoping she can rise through the ranks like her stablemate, Group One winner Foxplay.
“She seems like a stakes class mare in waiting,” she said. “She’s progressing well.”
Noire was scratched from the Listed Bright Shadow at Doomben after drawing barrier 13 and has barrier five at Rosehill.