Promising Canberra-trained mare Filipa resumes at Nowra on Friday with trainer Matthew Dale admitting her first-up assignment is testing.
The well-bred daughter of Encosta De Lago tackles the Carlton Draught Class 3 Hcp (1200m) after a 34-week break.
Dale has built up an enviable first-up strike rate with his gallopers and Filipa is unbeaten when resuming.
After trialling well, Filipa scored on debut over 1080m at Canberra in August last year then was spelled after finishing down the track to Pontiana at Rosehill on September 11.
Given a 22-week break, Filipa resumed with a half-neck win from Crown Time in a 1200m Country Plate event on her home track on February 2.
“She’s been very tradesmanlike,” Dale said.
“She hasn’t come out and bolted in at either win but she’s won two from three. You cant ask for much more.”
Dale said Filipa had suffered from a few minor issues which had limited her career to date.
“Nothing too serious, she’s just needed time to get over a couple of things,” he said.
“Because of that we haven’t really been able to get right into her.
“The mare has returned in good order. She’s fit and well and ready to go to the races.”
Dale said a start was dependent on the track conditions, listed as slow on Thursday.
“On breeding, she should get through a slow track but that’s the question mark,” Dale said.
“She’s won on dead. I just don’t want her to run on a very wet track.
“It’s a nice race, the right race for her to kick off in.
“She was in the fillies and mares race but they didn’t get enough acceptances.”
Dale has given Filipa a couple of jumpouts.
“She’s only idled through them, not fully tested,” he said.
“I haven’t done that much with her but what she’s done has pleased me. It’s just hard to know exactly where she’s at.
“We’re hoping she can come through tomorrow and continue to work through the grades.”
Filipa will be ridden by in-form two-kilogram claiming apprentice Sam Clipperton.