Trainer Henry Dwyer has confirmed that three-year-old Leotie will remain in Melbourne this weekend, underlining a start in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1300m) at Caulfield as very likely.
Leotie has made only three competitive appearances at the races since debuting in early February, but has returned to racing this time in particularly impressive condition; finishing second in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) last time out on August 13th.
Underlining the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in a fortnight as a major target, Dwyer told AAP that he would like to keep the Darci Brahma filly at the Victorian way of going this weekend, with the McNeil Stakes 2016 a realistic prospect.
“I think a trip to Sydney fits in better with the program for the Thousand Guineas,” Dwyer said.
“She’s a robust sort of filly that will be able to handle the trip.”
Dwyer was thrilled with Leotie’s last-start second in the Quezette Stakes and believes her ability to switch off will prove vital heading towards races like the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in October.
“We were surprised to see her relax so well,” Dwyer said.
“She definitely doesn’t need to be that far back.
“But in terms of educating her to get further, which is the ultimate goal, it’s probably more beneficial for her to do that.
“She doesn’t look much like a stayer, she’s built like a sprinter.”
Leotie trialled well leading into her competitive debut, but failed to make anything of an impact when ninth in the Ostar Media Group Plate (1000m) and was immediately returned to the paddock.
Having clearly taken plenty of benefit from her time away from racing, the filly out of Prairie Star charged home to win the Ladbrokes Bet Better Maiden Plate (1106m) by two lengths in her only other start prior to the Quezette Stakes.
The 2016 Quezette Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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