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Missile Mantra makes her season return against the boys in the McNeil Stakes

The only filly in this year’s McNeil Stakes will be one of two three-year-olds aiming to maintain an unbeaten start to their careers in the Group Three race at Caulfield.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Missile Mantra makes her season return in Saturday’s 1200m McNeil at the same track where she highlighted her potential by winning the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes at her most recent start in May.

“That was no surprise to us. She’s got that type of level about her,” Paul Snowden said.

“She seems to have strengthened up nicely.

“Her jump-outs have been quite good. It is a nice race to kick her off in.

“She is a backmarker who will work into the race and finish off, so hopefully they can make up a bit of ground there on Saturday.”

Five fillies have won the McNeil in the past 15 years with Lady Of Harrods the most recent in 2012.

The Snowdens won the race in 2016 with colt Defcon.

Like Missile Mantra, the Lindsay Park-trained Peidra takes an unbeaten record from two starts into Saturday’s race.

Peidra’s most recent victory came at Sandown four weeks ago after he beat subsequent stakes winner Condo’s Expresss on debut at Sale.

“He’s a lovely horse,” co-trainer David Hayes said.

“It’s a big step up in class but he’s rated brilliantly in his wins and we’re heading towards the Guineas.

“This is his fresh run. If he wins I’ll be pretty excited, but he’ll be a risk first-up.”

Peidra will be joined in the McNeil by stablemate Sebrakate who finished second in the Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up two weeks ago to impressive colt Bivouac.

“He just got beaten by a better horse,” Hayes said.

“But he would probably be more wound up than Peidra.”

The Anthony Freedman-trained stablemates Super Seth and King Of Hastings, both winners of two of their three starts, head the McNeil Stakes market at $3.90 and $4.60 respectively.

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