Kris Lees hopes a quieter ride will prove the difference for El Dorado Dreaming when she chases group 2 success at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
However, the Newcastle trainer was unsure if stablemate Prized Icon would give him another chance at the same level on Cox Plate day.
El Dorado Dreaming was almost six lengths off the winner when 11th in the group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last start and will return in the Fillies Classic (1600m).
The group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce champion was ridden forward of midfield in the Thousand Guineas and faded late in a disappointing result following an encouraging third in the prelude.
Lees said the filly, which has gate nine, was in good order following the October 13 effort and he hoped for a different run this time around.
“There’s every chance she’ll bounce back,” Lees said. “I think we had her too close last time so we’ll ride her a bit colder. It looks like it will be run fast enough so it should suit her.”
Prized Icon, which has gate two, was down to race in the group 2 Crystal Mile but Lees said a decision on his place would be made on Saturday morning.
The group 1 winner was scratched from the Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield last week because of illness and may be saved from the Kennedy Mile at Flemington on November 3.
Princess Posh will feature on the program in the group 3 mares race over 1600m. The Tibbie Stakes winner has gate two and will race for the first time in Melbourne.
“We were considering waiting for Flemington but I think the track there will be too firm, so she’ll run tomorrow,” Lees said on Friday.
Guard Of Honour will also have his first run at Moonee Valley when he contests the 955m handicap. Unplaced both times this time in, the five-time winner has since prevailed in a 800m trial at Newcastle on October 9.
“He’s trialled really well in between and I think he'll run really well,” Lees said.
Newcastle trainer Paul Perry was hoping for hot early speed in the group 3 Australia Stakes (1200m) for Ragged Rascal. The colt was 11th last start in the Caulfield Guineas over a mile.
“If they are coming from behind tomorrow, he’s some hope,” Perry said.
“If they are running on, he’s got a good each-way chance, but if they are leading and winning it’s probably not going to suit.”
“Last run he ran into a traffic jam about 100 yards out. If he didn't do that he probably beats another six or seven home. His run was pretty fair.”
Perry also has Ducale in the listed Crockett Stakes (1200m).
“She’s had a couple of little upsets to her program, which hasn’t helped, so she’s more or less starting off again,” he said.
“She’s starting in a short one and there might be a race for her at Flemington over the carnival.”
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