Kris Lees is confident Sugar Bella can handle the challenge of Group company for the first time at Randwick as she aims for her fourth successive win.
Sugar Bella returns from a let-up for the Group Three Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) and Newcastle trainer Lees is looking forward to using the race to gauge her progress.
The four-year-old has won her past three starts by a minimum of two lengths, albeit at Benchmark level, and has had a trial at Gosford since her last start at Randwick on January 13.
“We backed off her over summer to target these types of races,” Lees said.
“She’s certainly up to black-type level though she’s jumping a few grades here so it’ll be a good yardstick to where she fits.
“She’s freshened up well and trialled nice. She’s got a great turn of foot and that’s what you need when you get to this level so I think she’ll be competitive.”
Sugar Bella was the $3 favourite with the TAB on Friday ahead of the Les Bridge-trained Slow Burn and Canberra mare Perizada at $6.
Perizada is seeking back-to-back metropolitan wins for co-trainers Ron Weston and John Nisbet after her victory at Rosehill on February 24.