Ballarat trainer Darren Weir is confident stablemates Means A Lot and What A Beauty will both perform well when they clash at Flemington on Saturday.
The pair drew next to each other in the Western Chances Hcp (1400m) for three-year-old fillies with Means A Lot, to be ridden by apprentice Jack Hill, in barrier three and Dean Yendall’s mount What A Beauty to jump from gate four.
Means A Lot hasn’t been out of a place in six starts which includes two country wins, two seconds at Sandown and a third at Moonee Valley.
Last start the Denon filly was sent out odds-on favourite and beat the stakes-placed Yorkshire Lad by a long neck at Ararat late last month.
What A Beauty, a Ballarat two-year-old maiden winner last season, has consistent city form at her past six starts including a second to Alotta Spur over over 1400m on Caulfield Cup day last spring and a first-up second to Umgeton over 955m at Moonee Valley in February.
At her latest outing when third-up the Octagonal filly ran on well from last of the eight runners to finish fourth to Saturday’s rival Barangaroo, beaten less than 1-1/2 lengths, over 1200m at Moonee Valley on April 2.
“They are both going well,” Weir said.
“We took Means A Lot to Ararat because it was a Super Vobis race.
“She was fresh because she hadn’t raced for more than five weeks and we dropped her back in distance from 1600 metres to 1200 metres and it all worked out well.”
“What A Beauty ran on well last start at the Valley. (Stablemate) Royal Bender (who was runner-up to Follonica at Sandown on Wednesday) ran fifth in that race.
“From the barrier she’ll position up a bit closer and run well.”
Weir will also be represented by Owners Priority, a Yendall mount, in the Riding For The Disabled Plate (2000m).
The Lucky Owners four-year-old mare has won four of her last five starts including a hat-trick of victories on her home track.
After a second to Invincible Diva over 1400m at Morphettville, Owners Priority won by four lengths over 1600m at Ararat on March 28.
“She’s been up for a long time but is going well,” Weir said.
Weir said Field Hunter would not run in the Racehorse Outplacement Program Hcp (2000m) after drawing barrier 18 in the 16-horse field plus three emergencies.
The Tony Noonan-trained import Buccellati has been scratched from that race and will run in Saturday’s Listed Japan Racing Association Hcp (2000m) at Randwick with Nash Rawiller the rider.