Rival trainer Daniel Morton has labelled smart filly Ellicazoom as the one to beat in the Group 2 $500,000 Sky Racing-W.A. Guineas (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Morton will saddle up two chances in Saul’s Special and Lusaha in Saturday’s three year old contest and rates the fillies above the colts and geldings at this stage of the season.
“She is a very classy filly,”Morton told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“There is a consensus that the fillies might have the wood on the boys here at the moment and she was probably a little bit unlucky not to win the Champion Fillies there the other day.”
“She has to back up a week apart so if she can do that I know she is a high quality filly so she is going to be the one to beat.”
The Neville Parnham trained Ellicazoom made it two wins on the trot with a first up victory in a 1000m NMW Handicap at Ascot on October 19 followed by a win in the Listed $100,000 Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 1.
But the Testa Rossa filly was on the receiving end of some nasty interference before she ran second to Samovare in the Group 3 $200,000 W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) at Ascot last Saturday.
Bookmakers at Ladbrokes.com.au agree with Morton and have Ellicazoom at top of the market order for the W.A. Guineas at $4.80 ahead of one of the other fillies in the race Whispering Brook at $6.
Saul’s Special is the most fancied of Morton’s two runners at $6.50 while Lusaha is listed as a $10 chance.
Morton is happy with both his W.A. Guineas contestants after Saul’s Special won the Listed $100,000 Fairetha Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 5 with Lusaha finishing in third place.
“They are tracking along quite nicely at the moment,” Morton said.
“Lusaha is a really nice progressive sort of horse and has come along fairly softly this time in.”
“He only won his maiden there three starts back and then into a midweek where he won again and ran a nice third in the Listed lead up there the other day so I think he is a really nice chance in the race.”
“Craig Williams rides him and he will be thereabouts.”
Craig Williams will ride Lusaha who has drawn barrier eight in the sixteen horse field while Brad Parnham will have to overcome barrier fifteen on Saul’s Special.
“Saul’s Special has done nothing wrong either,” Morton said.
“He won the Listed led up there the other day and has probably raced at the highest level here at least his whole career so if he is not favourite he deserves to be.”
Morton is leaning towards Saul’s Special as his better chance in the W.A. Guineas but is not dismissing the chances of Lusaha.
“Saul’s Special probably is, he has raced at that level a fair bit but I haven’t really been able to split them of late and whoever gets the better run in transit would probably beat the other one home I would imagine,” Morton said.