Trainer David Payne is expecting a vast improvement from his mare Lilliburlero when he removes the blinkers when she runs in the Group 3 $200,000 Coolmore Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone on Saturday.
Payne takes some of the blame for Lilliburlero’s last start failure when twelfth to Aerobatics in the Group 3 $150,000 The 2014 Darley Crown (1300m) at Hawkesbury on May 3 when he got the tactics wrong when she was ridden back in the field.
“She was just too wide coming around the bend and conceded far too much ground to be winning against that class,” Payne told Racenet.
“The blinkers come off on Saturday and we’ll ride her just in behind the speed.”
Even though Payne will send Lilliburleo to the spelling paddock after she runs on Saturday at Scone’s standalone meeting, the Rosehill trainer said that the Redoute’s Choice mare has held her condition well and is in top order.
“She’s a big, gross mare that’s handling her racing very well,” Payne said.
“I think she can go out in the same manner as she came in.”
Lilliburlero scored first up this campaign with Jay Ford in the saddle beating Recoinage in the Group 3 $150,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 22 and then followed that up with a second to A Time For Julia in the Group 3 $150,000 Roy Higgins Tribute Quality (1200m) at Randwick on March 15.
Her form then deteriorated with three unplaced runs but Payne is looking for a turnaround with the gear change and the engagement of Jeff Lloyd to replace Jay Ford who was on at Hawkesbury.
“She’s drawn nicely in this and Jeff Lloyd is riding very well,” Payne said.
Lilliburlero will be taking on Darley Crown winner Aerobatics again as well as Sapphire Stakes runner up Avoid Lightning who beat her home when sixth in the Group 2 $300,000 Handicap at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 19.
Avoid Lightning has been installed the early $4.20 favourite for the Dark Jewel Classic with Ladbrokes.com.au in front of the Gai Waterhouse trained Miss Stellabelle at $6 and Aerobatics at $6.50.
Wyong trained Two Blue and the John O’Shea trained Seaside share the next line of betting at $7.50 while Lilliburlero has been marked as a $10 chance.
Ladbrokes.com.au offers its customers the best odds for the upcoming carnivals at Scone and Brisbane and also gives them the chance to sign up for the Ladbrokes Card which enables instant access to withdraw winnings from their accounts at any ATM and via EFTPOS.