Star jockey Damian Lane has given a glowing endorsement of Railway Stakes (1600m) winner Inspirational Girl, following her first start in Victoria on Saturday.
The WA mare finished fifth behind Behemoth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on Saturday afternoon finished off the race strongly.
It was Lane’s first ride aboard the Reliable Man mare and said he was impressed by her first Victorian outing.
“She was working really well leading into the race and I feel like she probably needed the day out,” Lane told TABradio.
“The race shape didn’t suit her at all.
“They slowed down mid-race and she got on to the bridle and because of that they quickened sharply.
“I was trying to edge into the clear and it left her flat footed.”
Inspirational Girl took all before her in Perth last spring, winning the Railway Stakes and Asian Beau Stakes (1400m), before a second to Truly Great in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Her next Group 1 assignment will be the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 11.
Lane said he was confident the six-year-old would be a key player in the $1 million feature.
“She’s going to be much better suited at Flemington and much better suited at a mile,” he said.
“I expect her to take great improvement from the run and run really well next time.”
Lane was booked to ride the Chris Waller-trained Verry Ellegant for the Cox Plate (2040m) earlier this week, potentially leaving the Bob and Sandra Peters-owned mare without a rider for the Weight-For-Age feature.
Lane said he would stick with Inspirational Girl next start and could yet prove to be a Caulfield Cup horse.
“At this stage I’m staying with her,” he said.
“I believe Bob, Sandra and Danny are pretty open to where she goes after the Makybe.
Inspirational Girl is an $8 chance with TABtouch for the Makybe Diva Stakes.