Godolphin owned filly Calliope has passed her barrier test and is clear to run in the Group 2 $175,000 Alpha Flight Services Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Calliope was ordered back to the barriers by Racing NSW stewards after she proved to be very fractious in the starting stalls before the start of the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19.
The Exceed And Excel filly was passed fit to run that day but was never in contention before finishing twelfth to brilliant colt Capitalist and trainer John O’Shea immediately sent her to the paddock for a spell.
Calliope was fitted with a brow band, a sheep’s wool band fitted across the top of her head, when she barrier trialled at Randwick on August 9 and was given the all clear by stewards to return to the track on race day after behaving herself in the starting stalls.
The filly wasn’t knocked around in the trial to finish fifth and will wear the brow band again when she lines up against the other fillies in the Silver Shadow Stakes.
O’Shea hopes that Calliope can stay calm in the barriers on Saturday and is expecting her to perform well first up.
“She’s had her problems in the gates, which is well-known, but we’ve tried to keep her in a positive frame of mind since her trial last week, keep her relaxed and happy,” O’Shea said.
“I think she’s ready to run well first up after a nice trial and some first-class work at home. There’s no doubt she’s a very talented filly who I’d like to progress to a race like the G1 Thousand Guineas later in the spring.”
Calliope’s barrier manners and her performance on the weekend will give O’Shea a better idea if he will head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 8.
Goldoplin’s number one stable rider James McDonald will wear the royal blue colours when he takes the mount on Saturday and Calliope will jump from barrier seven in the eleven horse field.
Calliope had performed well in her early two year old days with a debut win in the Listed $150,000 Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick in October and then two starts later won the Group 2 $175,000 Bede Murray Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 12.
In early betting for the Silver Shadow Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au, Calliope is on the third line at $4.80 behind Omei Sword at $2.70 and Manaya at $3.70.
Silver Shadow Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Omei Sword, $3.70 Manaya, $4.80 Calliope, $12 Thyme For Roses, $15 Quick Feet, $18 Cudabeen, Zelady’s Night Out, $21 Bacarella, $26 Rather Sweet, $81 Alluvion, $91 Zafina.