Lady Macan will be out to prove the judgment of her trainer is more accurate than any pedigree page when she puts her VRC Oaks credentials on the line in the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington.
The filly will be one of 13 runners in Saturday’s 2000-metre contest, a traditional lead-up race to the Victoria Oaks five days later.
On parentage alone, Lady Macan shapes as a serious doubt at the journey.
Her dam is two-time Group One-winning sprinter Lady Jakeo and her sire, Where’s That Tiger, scored his only win over 1000m.
But trainer David Payne’s learned eye for a thoroughbred tells him Lady Macan’s forte will be over longer distances.
“I know by looking at her,” Payne said.
The trainer similarly backed himself with Criterion – a son of Golden Slipper winner Sebring out of a sprinting mare – who won the ATC Australian Derby in the autumn.
However, there is stamina deeper in Lady Macan’s pedigree.
Where’s That Tiger is by Storm Cat and the stallion’s dam Blissful is a sister to Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus.
Lady Macan hinted at her staying promise with an eye-catching fourth to Victoria Derby favourite Hampton Court over 1600m at Randwick two starts when she worked home from last.
It was a different scenario at her Melbourne debut when she raced on the speed and tired to finish midfield in the Ethereal Stakes.
Payne said she was ridden against her preferred pattern last start and more patient tactics will be adopted at Flemington.
“She wasn’t ridden the right way the other day,” Payne said.
“She was too close. We will be riding her quietly and hopefully she can finish off.”
Lady Macan is $21 for the Wakeful and $26 for the Oaks.