Western Australian owned filly Perfect Reflection will race in blinkers for the first time when she steps out in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The lightly raced Perfect Reflection was the winner of all her five outings in the west and was transferred to Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir after winning the Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on December 5.
The More Than Ready filly was sent out as the $3 favourite at her first run for the Weir stable but was only able to finish third behind Don’ Doubt Mamma and Egypt in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
Weir was then looking for reasons for the defeat and decided to test Perfect Reflection in the blinkers at track work on Tuesday morning.
“She went a good working half-mile gallop on her own, with a set of blinkers on, and she did enough on her own to clean her wind up nice, and she looked good doing it,” Weir told Racing Ahead.
The premiership winning trainer said that he might have over worked the filly leading up to her first up run and is hoping to see a better performance on Saturday.
“Maybe we tried too hard with her first-up. We were working her in company,” Weir said.
“We might have left a bit on the track, so we’ve taken a different approach.”
Perfect Reflection has drawn barrier two in the sixteen horse field and will be ridden again by Ben Melham.
Weir has a strong hand in the Australian Guineas and he will also saddle up the in-form Mahuta and the out of luck Palentino.
Mahuta is the winner of his last six starts, his latest a nose victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13 and has drawn barrier nine with Brad Rawiller to ride again.
While Palentino was relegated to second on protest last start after being first past the post in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
Mark Zahra will again ride Palentino who was also out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with the outside gate.
Palentino is the most fancied of Weir’s three Australian Guineas runners at Ladbrokes.com.au and has been marked at $7 ahead of Mahuta at $9 and Perfect Reflection at $10.
Australian Guineas market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.70 Xtravagant, $7 Palentino, $7.50 Tarzino, $9 Mahuta, $10 Perfect Reflection, $13 Risque, $14 Tivaci, $17 Jameka, $19 Tulsa, $21 River Wild, $26 Vanburgh, Sovereign Nation, $31 Sailing By, $41 Bon Aurum, Ready For Victory, $51 Snoopy.