Afleet Esprit has continued to rise to the occasion and Damien Oliver believes she can do so again as the jockey chases his sixth Thousand Guineas success at Caulfield.
The filly has recorded four wins and a close second from her five starts this campaign.
She heads into Saturday’s Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) after stakes wins in the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes and Thousand Guineas Prelude.
Her winning margins haven’t been great but she has continued to win with Oliver unbeaten on her in three rides.
“She’s probably been a little bit under-rated coming through but she just keeps on winning. She is a good ride in the race,” Oliver said.
Afleet Esprit will also be out to add to trainer David Hayes’ two previous wins in the Thousand Guineas with Miss Finland and Irish Lights.
Craig Williams was aboard when Miss Finland won the 2006 race and he partners Lumosty, one of the leading chances on Saturday.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Lumosty was beaten a short half-head first-up in the Cap D’Antibes Stakes by Afleet Esprit.
The filly has had a couple of feet issues but Smerdon said they had got on top of those with Lumosty wearing bar plates when she booked her Thousand Guineas berth by spacing her rivals by nine lengths in a Sale maiden last Wednesday.
Lumosty was scratched from the Thousand Guineas Prelude in favour of that race and Williams said it might have been a blessing.
“She was able to have a confidence boost, a very impressive win, and probably being on a softer surface than the horses who competed in the Prelude,” Williams said.
Lumosty is on the second line of betting at $5.50 with Bring Me The Maid while Afleet Esprit is at $8.
The favourite is Group One Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go at $4.60.
Go Indy Go finished strongly for third second-up in the Prelude after failing when she raced for the first time since the autumn.
She will be ridden by Steven Arnold after Chad Schofield lost his appeal before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have a 32-meeting suspension for improper riding overturned.
Schofield returns on October 18, Caulfield Cup day.