Trainer David Brideoake has included his improving mare Griante in the nominations for the Group 1 $400,000 Brown Baldwin William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Griante is one of twenty-three sprinters nominated for the weight for age contest which also includes Group 1 winners Earthquake, Rebel Dane, Tiger Tees, Famous Seamus, Bel Sprinter and Trust In A Gust.
Brideoake thinks that it is the right time for Griante to be tested at Group 1 level and is keen to take her to Moonee Valley for the first time following her win in the Group 3 $150,000 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on March 7.
“She’s done really well since her trip to Sydney and I think it’s a good opportunity for her to have a shot at a Group 1,” Brideoake told racing.com.
“She’s won a couple of Group 3s, it’s her third run, she’s in fine shape and has continued to improve, she ran a class record in Sydney and she’s got excellent form around Shamal Wind who went on and won the Oakleigh Plate so I certainly don’t think that she’ll be out of her depth.”
“I’m really keen to see this mare run around Moonee Valley, I just have an inkling the track will suit her, she’s got a very quick turn of foot.”
“She galloped Saturday morning and it was probably as good a gallop as she’s ever put in.”
2014 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake will also be going to Moonee Valley for the time in the William Reid Stakes and the Godolphin stable are looking forward to a top showing after the filly galloped impressively with stablemate Concentrate at the tricky course this morning.
The pair worked over 1000m in 1.7.48 out wide on the course proper, running the last 400m in 23.78 seconds, pleasing Godolphin’s Melbourne foreman David Charles.
“Very pleased with that, she’s done very well since the last run,” Charles said.
“We’re looking forward to Friday night.”
“She had a relatively quiet time last week but we’re very lucky to be able to come here and gallop on a perfect surface,” he said.
“This will top her off beautifully for Friday.”
Tommy Berry will be the new rider for Earthquake, replacing English jockey James Doyle, who was aboard the Exceed And Excel filly when second with 60.5kg to Pittsburgh Flyer in the Listed $120,000 MSS Security Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on March 14.
Trained Gary Portelli has prepared Rebel Dane for a first up tilt at the Williams Reid Stakes and will go to Moonee Valley on the back of a slick barrier trial win over 795m at Warwick Farm on March 12.