Pepperano faded late to finish ninth in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) over the weekend; however trainer Liam Birchley is confident the filly will be perfectly suited to the conditions of the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 6th.
Exploding from the gates, Pepperano found a handy position on the heels of the Sires’ Produce Stakes’ leaders who set a noticeably fast pace away from the barriers and rounding the bend.
Unable to match the late pace, Pepperano finished close to five lengths behind winner Look To The Stars, having also jumped from the wide and awkward barrier 12.
Pleased with her ability to hold a fast pace for so long, Birchley told Racing Ahead the daughter of Court Command has been set for the 2015 J.J. Atkins and is confident the slower tempo over a mile and a better barrier will prove the distance.
“Her run was a lot better than it looked,” Birchley said.
“They went out eight lengths quicker in that race than they did in the three-year-old from the start to the 600 and even went out quicker than they did in the 10,000.
“It was no surprise to see her weaken a bit over the last bit and to hang on where she did, she’s done a very good job.
“I’m definitely going to push on and she’s taken to the racing really well. We’ve sort of set her for this race all along so hopefully she can run some sort of a race.”
Posting two wins and as many minors through her seven career starts so far, Pepperano stamped her claims as one to watch over an impressive maiden campaign; highlighted by success in the Capture The Feeling Handicap (1110m) and a close second to Le Chef in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2.y.o Classic (1200m) on January 10th.
Posting a comfortable two length win in the Montezumas Caloundra Handicap (1000m) first-up this time on April 26th, Pepperano ran on for an impressive third in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) in her only other start prior to the BRC Sires’ Produce on May 9th.
Ladbrokes Australia is currently offering Pepperano at 2015 JJ Atkins odds of $15 for success.