Trainer Danny O’Brien admits that Belle Couture will be facing the toughest test of her racing career to date in the Spotless Plate on Flemington on Saturday, but he remains hopeful that the half-sister to equine superstar Black Caviar can record her second straight win.
Belle Couture recorded her maiden race win and showed a strong finishing burst in the Elvis Ricky Thurgood Plate (1200m) at Caulfield on April 21; coming from the tail of the field to score a comfortable two and a half lengths victory.
O’Brien told Racing Ahead that Belle Couture had taken plenty of benefit out of the strong win and said that he is happy with her physical condition heading into the Spotless Plate this weekend.
“She is very well and has taken natural improvement from her first-up win,” O’Brien said.
“She has really furnished into a great style of filly now.
“We have obviously been waiting on her, the owners as much as the public and it is nice that she is on her way and hopefully she can step-out into a far stronger race on Saturday.
“It would be great to see her make a progression and get another win on the board.”
Belle Couture was settled at the tail of the field by jockey Damien Oliver in the Elvis Ricky Thurgood Plate, but O’Brien said he does not think that Oliver will ride the Redoute’s Choice filly the same way in the $80,000 race this weekend.
O’Brien said that he expects Oliver to settle Belle Couture just behind the speed when she makes her debut down the famous Flemington straight before giving her the chance to show her impressive turn-of-foot in the final stages of the race.
“I think that she can put herself on speed,” O’Brien said.
“She drew wide the other day and Damien had enough confidence in her that he was happy drop her off the back and unleash with the finish she did.
“Down the straight it shouldn’t be a problem, she will be close enough but still in behind them, and hopefully she will be able to get out and finish off the race.”
The 2014 Spotless Plate betting market is currently very open and Belle Couture ($5) is battling for favouritism with Nicamorae ($5), a half-sister to Niconero and Nicconi, while Awasita ($8), Scatcat ($9) and I’m Fearsome ($9) are also available at single figure odds.