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Trainer Phillip Stokes will wait to see the track rating before committing debut winner Too Good Too Hard to a start at Sandown.

The filly won a 1205m maiden by two lengths on debut at Sale in mid-May and is the early $4.20 favourite for Wednesday’s Blue Star Print Handicap (1200m) but Stokes does not want the track too heavy.

“I couldn’t have been more happy with her debut,” Stokes said.

“She took a little bit of time to get over that run but she seems to be good now and she has got a good barrier (5).

“I just don’t want to run her on a heavy track for the sake of it. I’d rather tip her out and wait until the spring, so we’ll just see how the track comes up in the morning.”

Stokes believes Wednesday’s benchmark 64 race for three-year-old fillies is a good option for Too Good Too Hard, but the track was rated in the heavy range on Tuesday.

“I thought she was very impressive at Sale but I’d like to see her do it again,” he said.

“It’s a lovely progression for her and if we’re happy with the track she will take her place.”

Too Good Too Hard started favourite at Sale and her performance to come down the outside to win did not surprise Stokes off the back of two pleasing barrier trials.

“Now she has had that race she is more relaxed in the stable and in her work, which I’m hoping is a good thing,” the trainer said.

Stable apprentice Kayla Crowther will also ride the Stokes-trained Persian Empire in Wednesday’s Spicer Thoroughbreds Handicap (1400m).

Stokes believes Persian Empire is well placed.

“Although I haven’t tried him on it I think he will be fine on a wet track,” he said.

“I’m expecting a forward showing from him.”

Mark Zahra makes his return at the Sandown meeting after serving a 25-meeting careless riding suspension incurred in April during The Championships at Randwick.

Zahra has not ridden in a race since April 22 and has been booked for rides in five of the eight races.

 
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