Co-trainer Shannon Hope admits that he is throwing Fenway in at the deep end in the 2015 Vinery Stud Stakes, but he is confident that the promising filly can be competitive in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Fenway showed that she was capable of being competitive at Group level when she finished third in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she has performed well without winning in both the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February and the Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at the same venue on March 14.
Group 1 winners First Seal, Set Square and Amicus are all set to contest the Vinery Stud Stakes this weekend, but Hope believes that Fenway would have finished closer to Set Square at her last start if she had some luck in running and he is confident that the three-year-old will not be disgraced in her Group 1 debut this weekend.
“It is throwing her in the deep end, but I can only use Set Square as a yardstick,” Hope said.
“I was probably a little bit critical of some of her rides in Melbourne and I just haven’t had the luck when I have needed it.
“Taking Set Square as the yardstick she is going to be more than competitive up here, but my biggest disadvantage is that she is at level weights and she hasn’t done what they have done.
“I just hope we have a bit of luck on our side and Blake can get her out, wind her up and see what she can actually do.”
Fenway has raced exclusively in Victoria since she made her racing debut in Bendigo last year and will be racing the Sydney way of going for the first time in the Vinery Stud Stakes this weekend, but Hope does not believe that will be a concern for the daughter of High Chaparral.
Hope said that the three-year-old has done some work the reverse way of going at the stables Seymour base and he was thrilled with the way that she performed this morning in her first piece of trackwork since she arrived in Sydney Saturday evening.
“We are very fortunate at home that we work Sydney direction every second day anyway in slow work and it is a little bit different in fast work obviously, but they have let us gallop a few times reverse way,” Hope said.
“It was nothing compared to this morning because all the markers were out and it is a completely different pace, but they seemed to handle it really well.
“They were on their Sydney legs and we were very happy with the way that she pulled up.
“Now we just have to tick her over.”
Fenway is currently available at 2015 Vinery Stud Stakes odds of $11 with Ladbrokes, while First Seal ($1.90) is a clear favourite from Set Square ($5.50), Winx ($7) and Amicus ($1o).