Tom Dabernig admits Taraayef and Andrassy Avenue have struck a strong race to begin the season but the co-trainer is looking for the talented fillies to both make encouraging starts to their three-year-old year at The Valley.
Andrassy Avenue was an impressive winner at The Valley at her second start in February before running midfield in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes during her four-run campaign.
She resumes in Saturday’s Hygain Tracktorque Handicap (1000m) for her first start since finishing fourth in the Listed St Albans Stakes at the same track in April and will be joined in the race by stablemate Taraayef.
Taraayef showed her promise when winning at Sandown on May 15 in her second start after finishing runner-up to one of her rivals on Saturday, Absolute Flirt, on debut in April.
Dabernig believes there is not a lot between the stable’s two runners and could come down to how the race is run.
“Taraayef hasn’t gone out of work since she won at Sandown but she has been at the farm and had a freshen up,” Dabernig said.
“She trialled at Flemington last week, sat on the pace and trialled well.
“I’ve got a good opinion of her but it is a hot race so she will need to be on her game.
“She has had a long time between runs and is coming out of an easy time but she has drawn well and I think she’ll get a good run.
“We think she’s a genuine black type filly so hopefully she can be competitive on Saturday.”
Andrassy Avenue has had two jump-outs at Flemington to prepare for her return and Dabernig believes she has come back stronger.
Having won at the track, Saturday’s race was an attractive starting point for her campaign.
“I haven’t had a really good look at how the race maps yet but I’d imagine there will be plenty of speed,” Dabernig said.
“She will maybe just let the speed go and hopefully she will be finishing strongly.
“She seems to have come back well.
“She has definitely strengthened up a bit.”
The race for three-year-old fillies on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 season only has a field of eight but includes stakes winners Absolute Flirt, Mystical Pursuit and Mockery, along with stakes-placed Jedastar and last-start Sandown winners Seatonic and Rumble Doll.
A number of the fillies are likely to progress towards the Group Three Quezette Stakes at Caulfield two weeks later.