Stakes-placed former New Zealand filly So Far Sokool makes her Australian debut at Sandown where her new trainer Archie Alexander expects to learn more about the pint-sized three-year-old.
So Far Sokool won once and finished second twice, including in the Listed GN Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie, in three New Zealand starts.
The filly, who was bought by syndicator OTI Racing, was transferred to Alexander at Ballarat about three months ago and resumes in Wednesday’s Moorookyle Park Handicap (1000m).
Alexander is expecting the $3.30 favourite to improve on whatever she does first-up.
“I think she’s got plenty of ability, but if she was to win tomorrow I think it would be more ability getting her through than fitness,” Alexander said.
“I would have liked her fitter, but she’s only a 410-kilo filly so I hardly want to go revving her up so early in the prep and have nothing left.”
Alexander said he had been unable to give the filly a lead-up trial.
“We haven’t been able to get a track with good enough ground to have a trial on,” he said.
“Being the winter, things have been very chopped up and everything has kind of been at the wrong time.
“Obviously there were trials and she might not have been ready, and we were supposed to go to Cranbourne and that got moved to a track further away so that wasn’t ideal.”
Alexander took So Far Sokool for a gallop at Seymour.
Then to try to bring her fitness levels on he gave her a solid gallop out of the barriers last week at Ballarat and felt with blinkers on, which she wore in New Zealand, it had brought her on.
He said because the filly was so small it made it harder to know how best to train her and what her best distances would be, whether she is a 1200m sprinter or a miler.
“Basically we’re just trying to find out a bit about her,” he said.
“Probably the 1000 metres is going to be a bit short but because we haven’t had the greatest prep with trials and things like that, we think it’s probably the right thing.”
Alexander said he was happy with the filly’s physical well-being and because of her size she might not require a lot of work.
“So we’re hopeful but there’s definitely a lot of improvement to come,” he said.