The Group 1 2YO Fillies WA Sales Classic Final (1730m) will be held at Gloucester Park on Friday night and here is my preview of the feature event.
Two horses look standouts over their opposition. That previous sentence is what I wrote word-for-word to begin my preview of the Easter Cup on April 13. The two standouts placed but neither was victorious with Assassinator defeating the pair.
I believe the same applies this week as Lady De La Renta battles Tenniele Erin, but like the Easter Cup, there are smaller chances but they will need the race to be run upside in order to win; that is what happened in the Easter Cup with Shardons Rocket carving up both favourites enabling Assassinator to win.
Enough about that race and let’s look at the field of 10 two-year-old fillies chasing Group 1 glory.
Limited Funds didn’t show her gate speed on debut but it is likely she will have some. I’d expect trainer-driver Callan Suvaljko to look for cover behind either Lady De La Renta or Tenniele Erin with the class runners drawing barriers two and three.
I have a slight leaning towards Tenniele Erin finding the lead. She has shown moderate gate speed while Lady De La Renta hasn’t shown much at this stage. The reason for Lady De La Renta not showing is that she paced roughly on debut at the start. In her heat, she was restrained but didn’t muster for a little while.
That could change Friday night but one of the leading duo should be in front with the other, or Ella Gant Player, racing in the breeze position.
Princess Major could stay the pegs early and look to push off with a circuit left to travel or could look to follow Lady De La Renta through by restraining a touch with no other second-row runners.
The Justin Prentice-trained Tenniele Erin looks the best filly in the race at this stage with Lady De La Renta snapping at her heels. Due to her nice gait, she gets the number one ranking and is my top pick in this event.
Four career starts have produced a win, second, third and second which means she will add another win to her name on Friday night. I don’t really believe that but it would be a cool pattern.
She has shown she can do a stack of work in her races and her effort when second behind Lady De La Renta in their heat was impressive. Caught wide for the first 600m of the event, including a 27.5 opening quarter, Tenniele Erin found the lead and didn’t get enough of a breather as a 30.4 second quarter resulted in a 57.9 first half for the babies. She was a sitting shot after a 28.9 third quarter but had the tenacity to fight for a 6.8m defeat.
Lady De La Renta raced 1 out 2 back and was let loose with 500m to travel as she drew away late. If she can find the lead then she quickly becomes the horse to beat but her pacing manners concern me at this stage and she could pace roughly or break stride at the start as Kim Prentice will no doubt rev her up in order to try and hold out Chris Lewis at the start.
Both fillies look a class above their rivals at this stage and one of the two should walk away victorious unless they declare war over the short-course. Now this is WA harness racing and that can certainly happen when two favourites look to out-do the other.
Princess Major is the biggest threat to the leading pair and despite not winning from three attempts so far, she has been placed each time and has beaten home both in a Pinjarra two-year-old event won by Cott Beach. She should map handy and has each-way claims.
There was a huge time discrepancy between the two heats with Lady De La Renta winning in 1:55.1 while Cool Sassi won the other heat in 2:01.9. There is no doubt they can go quicker than that but it is substantial and means the runners in the Lady De La Renta have had a much better hit-out leading into this.
Vivere Damore and Ella Gant Player, both from the Lady De La Rent heat, look next best and while they will need plenty to go their way, they are not without hope and have place claims at least.
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