A strong win from Temple Of Bel in a country maiden has convinced trainer Archie Alexander to give the filly her chance in the Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
Temple Of Bel is a half-sister to the Alexander-trained four-year-old Wheal Leisure who won at Caulfield on Sunday, a few days after her younger sibling broke her maiden at her third start.
Three-year-old Temple Of Bel was strong to the line in 1400m fillies and mares maiden at Bendigo last Thursday, winning by 2-1/2 lengths to set up a start in Saturday’s Group Two 1600m race against her own age and sex.
“She looked like she was above average in her maiden,” Alexander said.
“It helps when you’ve got the sister and you know the sister has got a bit of ability.
“She (Temple Of Bel) won her maiden nicer than her sister won her maiden so you’re just going off that a bit and she’s come through the race very well.
“If we weren’t happy with the way she was going we wouldn’t be thinking about it.
“It’s obviously going to be a tough race but I think she deserves her chance and she’s drawn barrier one.”
The Edward Manifold Stakes has a capacity field and includes the Darren Weir-trained Leather’n’lace who has won three-straight races this preparation.
Alexander said Temple Of Bel, a daughter of Bel Esprit out of Sadiya, shares similarities with Wheal Leisure who is by Artie Schiller.
Wheal Leisure has won four of her nine starts and contested three Classics during her three-year-old season, finishing third in the Listed Tasmanian Oaks, fifth in the Group One Australian Oaks and ninth in the Group One South Australian Derby.
“Physically they’re almost like twins,” Alexander said.
“They’ve got similar attitudes, they’re very tough and good in the feed bin.
“Wheal Leisure only won her maiden at the beginning of December last year, so this filly is a few months ahead of that.
“She’s a bit more precocious but they’re very similar types and we’re really happy with her.”
Alexander admits it’s a tough race but is hopeful Temple Of Bel can make the step.
“If she runs top three that would be huge,” he said.