Newcastle horse of the year Black Silhouette is expected to improve when she tackles a tough field in the group 3 Frith Stakes at Menangle on Saturday night.
The 2019 Breeders Challenge group 1 winner, now trained in Sydney by Craig Cross, finished well back at Menangle on June 2 in her first start since moving from the stables of Brandy Hill's Sam Dimarco. She bounced back for a close third in open class behind I Am Serengeti, which won on 1:51:2.
Back in mares' grade, Black Silhouette ($26) has drawn well in gate two for Saturday night's race, which features five from the Cross stable.
Owned by Dimarco's family, Black Silhouette was moved to target mares races at Menangle when COVID-19 restrictions started. Dimarco expected her to run well but said she faced stiff opposition on Saturday night.
"She had a hiccup the first start," Dimarco said. "She pulled really hard and choked down. They fixed her gear and got her right and she ran a very good trial a week later, going 1:52 on a wet track, then the following Tuesday she ran a good third.
"They went very hard, running 25.6 out of the gate, and not being 100 per cent fit, she just didn't run on at the end. But they went good time.
"It's a hard race tomorrow night, all the good mares are in it and she's an outsider, but she will run her usual honest race and Luke [McCarthy] is happy enough with her.
"If she runs in the first four or five, we'll be happy."
At Newcastle on Friday night, leading trainer Clayton Harmey had the program's first three winners - Major Bob, Fantasize and Lilymadimac.