The step up in distance to the 2000m of the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday will suit Crown Oaks winner Set Square.
Set Square is only one of two fillies in the Vinery Stud Stakes that has won at 2000m or more and showed her staying ability when she took out the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The John Sargent trained Thunder Lady is the other filly in the field to have won over the distance with her victory in the Group 2 $300,000 Racing.com Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before she ran second to Set Square five days later in the Crown Oaks.
Set Square has had two runs back from a spell and trainer Ciaron Maher says that his filly’s ability to stay is a distinct advantage she has over the short priced favourite First Seal who was beaten at her only try at 2000m when second to Hampton Court in the 2014 Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last October.
“We have to take on First Seal but I’m happy to take her on at 2000m,” Maher told the Sportsman.
“First Seal looks like she has a turn of foot and if she still has that same turn of foot at 2000m she’ll be hard to beat.”
“But if that stretches her out a bit the 2000m will play in my filly’s favour.”
Set Square resumed from a spell and ran home nicely against the fillies for second to Sweet And Speedy in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Maher then stepped Set Square out against the older mares in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14 and was happy with her effort to run third to Noble Protector and Marianne.
“She had to give weight to older mares, the winner had Contributer form and she was good through the line,” Maher said.
“She comes back to fillies grade and set weights.”
Craig Williams takes over from the suspended Hugh Bowman and the Reset filly will jump from barrier twelve in the fourteen horse field.
Set Square has had the drifts in the betting since the final field for the Vinery Stud Stakes was released on Wednesday and is now a $9.50 chance after opening at $6 with Ladbtokes.com.au.
The John Thompson trained filly First Seal has a stranglehold on the betting at $1.95 and is a clear cut favourite ahead of the Chris Waller trained Winx at $6.50 and the Gai Waterhouse trained filly Adrift at $8.
Punters are banking on First Seal returning to the winner’s stall after the Fastnet Rock filly was beaten as an odds on favourite when second to Plucky Belle in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.