The Flight Stakes arsenal of Gai Waterhouse has been reduced to two with Twirl to bypass a clash with top fillies Winx and First Seal.
Twirl was accepted for the Group One but Waterhouse confirmed the filly’s owners had opted to head to an easier assignment, possibly at Randwick’s Kensington meeting on Monday.
It leaves the champion trainer with Echo Gal and Muscovado to try to give her an eighth Flight Stakes success.
The speedy Echo Gal, a one-time Magic Millions favourite, steps straight up to the mile off a last-start second against the males over 1100m.
Waterhouse admits the distance rise is a major query but says Echo Gal will relish being back against three-year-old fillies.
“I think against her own age and sex (she’ll be suited),” Waterhouse said.
“There’s a question mark over the distance but all I can say is I’m very happy with her.”
Muscovado earned her place with a Reginald Allen Stakes placing and heads into the Flight Stakes off a seven-day back-up.
“She got some black type last Saturday and she’s a filly on the improve,” Waterhouse said.
Opening markets are dominated by the Tea Rose Stakes quinella of First Seal and Winx with the latter a slight favourite to turn the tables in the Flight.
The Peter Moody-trained Thinking Of You is the only other runner under double figure odds.
Echo Gal is rated the top pick of the Waterhouse pair at $15.