A small field will contest Melbourne’s first two-year-old stakes race of the season, including two juveniles who already have valuable experience.
Saturday’s Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) at Flemington attracted seven acceptors on Wednesday but has been reduced to five after scratchings.
The line-up includes the Grahame Begg-trained Mildred and Lindsay Park’s Divine Caprice, two fillies who finished first and second respectively in the Darley Spring Preview at Flemington last Wednesday week.
The Spring Preview is a new race over 900m for two-year-olds, designed as a lead-in to Saturday’s Maribyrnong Trial.
Divine Caprice was at $2.90 on Friday with Mildred at $4.60 but unraced colt Deep Speed from the Tony and Calvin McEvoy stable has assumed favouritism at $2.80.
Tony McEvoy has been happy with Deep Speed’s two recent Flemington jump-outs, including one on the straight course eight days ago, and said the colt had had a good preparation leading into his debut.
“He trialled really nicely down the straight so he’s had a good look and his gallops have been good,” McEvoy said.
“I’m really comfortable with him. He’s just got to take it all to the pressure of race day now.
“Nothing replaces race day. If he can turn up and take it all there he’ll be right in the mix.”
Godolphin trainer James Cummings has colt Jerle making his debut.
Jerle, who trialled in the same heat behind Deep Speed last week, is by Exceed And Excel out of Lonhro’s sister Shannara.
“Jerle is a very forward colt, beautifully bred and a good style of horse,” Cummings said.
“We feel he has come on nicely since his Flemington trial up the straight and he will look the part in the enclosure.”