Undefeated filly Girl In Flight will have a chance to prove she is good enough to compete in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2400m) next year when she contests the Leigh Thomas Gift (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Girl In Flight made her racing debut with a comfortable two lengths victory over Tasman Traveller and Goodbye Toulouse in the Dalton Engineers Plate (1309m) and Pakenham on October 29 and made it two wins from as many starts in the Bundaberg Rum Handicap (1400m) at Sale last Wednesday.
Trainer Robbie Griffiths has a very high opinion of Girl In Flight and told Racing Victoria that he is using the Leigh Thomas Gift this weekend to help him analyse whether the Commands filly is good enough to warrant being set for a race like the Australasian Oaks that will be held at Morphettville on April 26 next year.
“She’s a nice filly that has done everything perfect so far,” Griffiths said.
“I shouldn’t get ahead of myself with those types of plans but if you don’t have aspirations then nothing happens.
“The depth of this race is a long way behind that level but the whole idea of getting her out over 1700 on Saturday is to give her some experience over the extra journey and to give us some data as to whether her performance warrants setting her on a path towards a race like the Australasian Oaks.”
Girl In Flight will face the toughest test of her career in the Leigh Thomas Gift this weekend, with last start winners Collins Street, Speed Gonzales, Smart Guy and Cottonwood Grove all included in the final field, but Griffiths remains confident that the classy filly is good enough to defend her unbeaten streak with her maiden metropolitan win.
“She has trained on well since her last start and this is tougher race again but all the indicators are there to suggest she’s the right type of filly to be the one to beat in the race,” Griffiths said.
Girl In Flight has been a clear market mover in Leigh Thomas Gift betting markets and is the current favourite at odds of $2.10, with New Zealand import Cottonwood Grove ($5), Ciaron Maher-trained Collins Street ($5.50), Sandown Guineas runner Pompeius ($7.50) and promising colt Pageant the only other runners in the field at single figure odds.