Trainer Peter Morgan is hopeful that classy filly Eloping can step up to the mark in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview For Fillies (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Eloping stamped herself as a contender for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) with a dominant win on debut in the BJC Members Celebration Maiden (900m) at Bendigo on December 22, but Morgan admits that the daughter of Choisir will face a much tougher test in the Listed event this weekend.
“She has come through great,” Morgan told Racing Ahead this morning.
“We gave her three or four days off after that run and we have brought her along slowly.
“It is going to be a bit of a step-up; there are six unknowns in it and I don’t know how they all are.”
Eloping’s racing debut was pushed back after she suffered a minor hamstring issue at the start of her preparation, ruling out any chance she had of contesting the Magic Millions Classic (1200m), but Morgan said he has been thrilled with the condition of the two-year-old since her first-up run.
“She seems to have held up well; we haven’t had a day of lameness or soreness with her and we are just hoping that she can step-up to it.
“She has a good action, she is low to the ground and she doesn’t put a foot wrong when she is striding down the straight.”
Eloping will face eight rivals in the Blue Diamond Preview; with Golconda, Fontein Ruby, Sakitto and Avanti the only other horses in the field that have had previous experience at the races.
Golconda finished fourth behind Oakleigh Girl in the Group 3 7News Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day before recording a dominant win over in the Listed Desiree Gill Tribute Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on November 16, while Avanti made his debut with a comfortable win at Seymour on January 9.
Any Given Sunday filly Jester Angel, Team Hawkes-trained London Lolly and Lumosty, a daughter of Fastnet Rock, will all be making their first public appearances in the Blue Diamond Preview this weekend, while David Hayes-trained Tawteen will be making her racing debut after finishing second in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne on September 23 last year.