Trainer Gary Nickson has revealed that talented filly Alpha Miss will be set for the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Alpha Miss made her racing debut in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 last year and scored an impressive victory before making it two wins from as many starts in the City Tatts Victory Vein Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 19.
The Lucky Owners filly was sent to the spelling paddock and returned to the races with a fourth place finish in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 before scoring an upset victory over a strong field in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Alpha Miss was far from disgraced when third behind Earthquake and Mossfun in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on at Rosehill Gardens (1200m) on March 22 and she progressed to the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at the same venue on April 5, but tired in the final stages of the race to finish 14th.
The rising three-year-old was restricted to races over 1200 metres or shorter during her juvenile campaign, but Nickson told Sydney Racing that he is confident Alpha Miss will be able to run out a strong 1600 metre and is targeting the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 with the talented filly.
“I am now aiming for the Flight Stakes over 1600m as she has shown me that she will race further than 1200m,” Nickson said.
“She produced a fighting finish in winning the Lohnro and later a close third to our two top juveniles Earthquake and Mossfun in the Reisling Stakes.
“Her style of racing and pedigree has shown me that she is capable of finishing off a true 1600m at Randwick.”
Nickson was thrilled with the performances of Alpha Miss in the early stages of her autumn preparation, but admits that he was slightly disappointed with the way that she performed in the Golden Slipper after connections were forced to pay the late entry fee of $150,000 to get her into the race.
“Alpha Miss gave me the best Sydney autumn ever this year and she was my first starter in the Golden Slipper Stakes,” Nickson said.
“She finished down the field in the Golden Slipper and I was disappointed, but jockey Jason Collett gave her a great ride.
“Jason had Alpha Miss tracking the favourite Earthquake rounding the home turn and ahead of Mossfun the eventual winner, but she found nothing in the straight.”
Alpha Miss is currently available at odds of $41 in the 2014 Thousand Guineas betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.