A win by smart filly Elitist at Eagle Farm on Saturday could tempt trainer Kelso Wood to pay a late entry fee for the Group 1 $500,000 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm the following week.
Elitist is the $3.20 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au for the Listed $100,000 KRA Busan The Phoenix (1400m) following her slashing third against the fillies in the Listed $100,000 Gallopers Sports Club Lancaster Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on May 17.
Wood has always held a high opinion of the Stratum filly and said if she can improve on her effort at Doomben and win, he will strongly consider paying the $28,875 late entry fee to have her included in the field for the J.J. Atkins.
“I think she will have no trouble with 1400m and I expect her to be very hard to beat,” Wood told The Courier-Mail.
“If she wins I will give serious thought to paying the late entry fee for the J.J. Atkins.’’
Wood said that Elitist had taken until her fourth race start to show her potential after being dogged by bad luck so far in her short career.
The top Eagle Farm trainer explained that she nearly lost her jockey Chris Munce when she stepped sideways at the start on debut before finishing third as an odds on favourite at Eagle Farm back in November.
Then at her first run back this campaign Elitist proved unruly in the enclosure pre-race and threw jockey Kirk Matheson before going on to finish tenth in a 1000m two year old Handicap at Eagle Farm on April 19.
“At her debut, I thought it was just a matter of going around,’’ Wood said.
“She jumped out at the start and Chris nearly slipped off her. He was lucky to stay on her back.
“At her first start back, she threw the kid in the enclosure and half fell over. She did the splits in front and had a muscle tear along the off-side rib cage.
“She came back looking like she’d been 12 rounds with Mohammed Ali. She had two black eyes.”
Elitist will be taking on the colts and geldings at Eagle Farm on Saturday with the Stuart Kendrick trained colt Thief Of Hearts looking like one of the hardest to beat.
Thief Of Hearts is marked as the second favourite at $4.60 and has had the blinkers added since finishing second to Pinch River on debut in the Listed $100,000 Channel Seven Dalrello Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on May 17.
On the third line of betting at $7 is Dalrello Stakes third placgetter Kelvin The Kruel just ahead of Jumbo Prince ($7.50) who has won his last starts in Toowoomba.