She was rated highly enough by her stable to be tested against some of the best fillies of her generation and now Jal Lei has been set a mission to boost her benchmark rating ahead of the spring.
Scratched from Randwick on the weekend due to an awkward gate, the three-year-old will instead resume in the Schweppes Handicap (1300m) at Warwick Farm on Monday.
A daughter of Sebring, Jal Lei won three of her first four starts to earn a shot at the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes and was far from disgraced when finishing just worse than midfield behind Fangirl.
Trainer John O’Shea then took her to Melbourne where she was down the track in Group 3 grade before a setback forced him to pull the pin on her preparation.
“I think she is up to that level. She got a bit crook after her first couple of runs so we had to turn her out,” O’Shea said.
“I wanted to get her going again for the Brisbane winter but by the time we got her up and going, we missed the boat a bit.
“She is ready to go now. I just want to try to get her rating up, give her a short break and then come back for those mares’ stakes races in the spring.”
Jal Lei has tuned up for her return with two barrier trials and will be ridden by in-form apprentice Reece Jones.
Jones played a starring role at Randwick on Saturday with four winners, including a double for O’Shea aboard Waihaha Falls and Comme Bella Fille.
He again has two rides for the leading trainer at Monday’s holiday meeting having also retained the mount on last-start Goulburn winner Carartie in the TAB Handicap (1300m).