After ruling out a Melbourne trip with Amber’s Crown, trainer Steve O’Dea is hoping a gear change can help the filly rediscover her best form.
O’Dea experimented with a tongue tie on the three-year-old when she won a Doomben barrier trial last week and will use it for the first time in her next appearance.
He is tossing up whether to run Amber’s Crown in Wednesday’s www.brc.com.au Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm or at the Gold Coast on Thursday and won’t make a decision until as late as possible.
“She was very disappointing first-up but there were genuine excuses,” O’Dea said.
“She was caught three wide and we think she may have got her tongue over the bit.
“I put a tongue tie on her when she won a barrier trial impressively at Doomben last week so I’ll put it on her for her next start and see what happens.”
Amber’s Crown, winner of the $150,000 QTIS600 Plate at Ipswich in May, failed to book a trip away when she resumed with a disappointing ninth to Seek And Find in a 1020-metre Class 6 at Doomben last month.
The three-year-old will be dropping back sharply in class from Saturday opposition if she runs at Doomben or in a 900-metre race at the Gold Coast.
O’Dea had pencilled in a trip to Melbourne for a Listed race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day for Amber’s Crown had she raced up to expectations in her comeback.
The daughter of Excites, a $14,000 weanling purchase, has started only seven times for four wins and a placing.
“She’s not a big filly and she’s got 59 kilos at the Gold Coast and two kilos less at Eagle Farm,” O’Dea said.
“It’s a tough choice but the Gold Coast race is worth more money being a QTIS race.”
Meanwhile, trainer Rob Heathcote is also hopeful a gear change will spark a better performance from Bribie in the Sky Racing Plate (1200m).
Bribie scored big wins at Doomben and Caloundra before struggling to beat one runner home in a 1200-metre Class 3 won by the Tony Gollan-trained Theft at Doomben last start.
“I’m taking the blinkers off him this time which hopefully will improve him,” Heathcote said.
“He ran himself into the ground last time. With the blinkers off we hope to ride him a little more conservative.”
Bribie is a full-brother to the Heathcote-trained Woorim who will contest the Tab.com.au Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.