Trainer Kelly Schweida underlined a bold plan to enter classy three-year-old Miss Cover Girl in the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6th, however the filly’s agonizingly-close second in Saturday’s Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) means she will likely just miss the cut.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Damien Browne settled the Monashee Mountain filly off the pace of the race’s early leaders who a fair tempo away from the barriers and approaching the bend.
Locking in a fierce sprint battle with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Najoom, Miss Cover Girl was unable to match the late pace and finished three lengths off the pace in second; missing a ballot-free entry to the Stradbroke Handicap allocated to the Fred Best Classic winner.
Citing three-year-old fillies’ good record in the Stradbroke Handicap, Schweida has been thrilled with the results posted by Miss Cover Girl this time but is understandably disappointed by her pending exclusion from Brisbane’s feature race.
“Three year old fillies have a very good record in the Stradbroke,” Schweida told AAP.
“But I don’t think we can make the field now. She needed to get the exemption and ran into a very good filly.
“I know she won the P J Bell in Sydney leading but that was a wet track and there was no other leader.
“I have no doubt she is better back in the field.”
Posting a commendable race record of seven wins and three minors over 13 career starts so far, Miss Cover Girl has returned to racing in exceptional form this time; taking out the IPG Connect BM85 (1200m) before a luckless run for fifth in a Gold Coast Minor over 1400m.
Undoubtedly posting her most impressive win to date in taking out the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships on April 6th, the filly out of Tolart placed fifth in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1200m) on May 9th, in what was her only other competitive start prior to the Fred Best Classic.
Miss Cover Girl remains in early 2015 Stradbroke Handicap betting markets with leading online bookie Ladbrokes Australia at a particularly generous quote of $41 for success.