Early markets on Saturday’s Quezette Stakes for three-year-old fillies at Caulfield Racecourse have undergone a shake-up with Modern Wonder now favourite to take out the P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day clash.
Shane Nichols’ returning Group 3 winner I Am A Star was the pre-field favourite to add another Black-Type victory to her record first-up in the weekend’s $150,000 Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) – raced as the Winslow Group Stakes.
She drew the outside barrier 16 of 16 in a capacity field for the set weights plus penalties event however and has been regulated to third favourite in the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
New top fancy to win the early Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival lead-up is the lightly-raced Modern Wonder, the daughter of top sire Snitzel prepared by Leon & Troy Corstens.
Like I Am A Star, who won Morphettville’s Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) last time out, Modern Wonder is also a recent Adelaide winner.
She took out her race debut in the Listed Dequetteville Stakes (1050m) beating Motown Lil by two lengths in late April, form the bookmakers are tipping her to emulate in a tougher line-up this weekend.
The Quezette Stakes is the first Melbourne run for Modern Wonder, who is also in the mix to return to Caulfield on October 8 for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) over the mile.
Team Corstens have also accepted for blue-ribbon pedigree So You Think filly Conscious who hasn’t raced since her second on debut at Flemington behind Weatherly in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) in February.
Also now shorter than I Am A Star to win the Quezette on the weekend is the Lindsay Park-trained Athena Lass who, like Modern Wonder, is a winner of her sole start to date.
The Snitzel filly, prepared by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in partnership with Hayes’ son Ben, raced for the first time at Moonee Valley on July 13 for a quarter-length win over Hay Bale on a Heavy (8) track.
That 1000m race also saw the Dequetteville Stakes runner-up Motown Lil run third before her last start sixth back in Adelaide on July 30 behind Viddora in the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m).
Athena Lass is another Thousand Guineas-bound filly looking to show early spring potential ahead of tougher runs over more distance.
Jockey Corey Parish retains the ride on Athena Lass who came up trumps with barrier two and is joined in the field by stablemate Najmaat (barrier eight).
Hinchinbrook filly Najmaat is well-bred and has winning form over Highland Beat at the Caulfield track from late March, one run before her disappointing ninth to Missrock in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) in Sydney on April 9.
The rails draw for Saturday meanwhile belongs to the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Sword Of Light who Damian Lane will ride from barrier one.
The New Approach filly won her opening two career starts during the summer including the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) at Caulfield.
Her last run was a first-up second to Derryn, also at Caulfield, over 1000m on July 30 when beaten only a length with Lane aboard.
Other noteworthy Quezette Stakes acceptors include the Danny O’Brien-trained Merriest who Damien Oliver rides for the first time and Tasmanian raider Hot Dipped whose last run produced a fifth in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).