Harry Coffey has developed a soft spot for sprinter Sweet Emily and hopes to repay the faith of the mare’s connections in the Listed Kensington Stakes.
The apprentice has ridden Sweet Emily in her five starts this campaign for four wins including a track record-breaking victory over 1000m at Moonee Valley last time out.
Trainer Phil Sweeney and the mare’s owner have stuck with Coffey in Saturday’s feature at Flemington which is a non-claiming event.
“I’ve been fortunate enough that she’s really struck some good form and I’ve been a part of it,” Coffey said.
“She runs really well for me and I’m very thankful that Phil and the owner have stuck with me, and we’re all happy when we’re winning.
“I hope I can ride her well and we get a good result and repay them for the faith they have shown in me.
“I’m just hoping to see her run well because obviously with such a good association now I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for her.”
Sweet Emily led all the way at Moonee Valley on December 27, clocking 57.19 seconds to lower the previous mark set by multiple Group One winner Miss Andretti.
The mare faces her biggest test on Saturday when she will tackle the Flemington straight for the first time.
“Obviously it was a pretty good effort to break Miss Andretti’s record,” Coffey said.
“And even though Saturday at Flemington is a whole different track and she has to get used to the straight, the fact that she’s been able to break Miss Andretti’s record probably puts her right in it.
“She’s got a lot of ability and I think if it’s not on Saturday I think one day she will be up to that class with more maturity.”
Coffey has ridden in a handful of stakes races, including a Group Two last year.
Sweet Emily gives him the chance to break through at stakes level but he says he will not think about it too much.
“I just treat it like a normal race and if she happens to win I’d be thrilled, especially being at Flemington, but it doesn’t really faze me too much,” he said.