Trainer Darren Weir is confident that Group 1 winning mare Platelet will produce an improved performance in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Platelet resumed in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 14; finishing fourth behind Kuroshio after making up good ground in the final stages of the race.
The daughter of Strategic finished her autumn campaign with back-to-back wins in the Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) and The Goodwood (1200m) and would not have looked out of place in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) field last Friday night but Weir revealed that he had deliberately set the mare for today’s Gilgai Stakes.
“I just think this sort of suited her a bit better,” Weir told Sky Racing HQ.
“She ran well first-up without going great but went pretty well.
“She has taken good improvement from the run.”
Weir said that the Platelet had come out of the race well, impressing during trackwork earlier this week, and believes that the five-year-old is ready to run a big race second-up.
“She had a good strong gallop on the course proper down at Warrnambool and worked a lot better than she did going into the race first-up,” Weir said.
“She is a mare that improves the further she gets into a preparation and whatever she does today she still has a bit of improvement in her.
“I would be disappointed if she didn’t run well today.
“The straight is no problem and her record second-up is good as well.”
It is a busy day for Weir at Flemington; with Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune chasing his first victory at Group 1 level in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The Shamardal entire has performed well since returning to the races with an impressive win in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in August and Weir said he will be at 100% fitness heading into the star-studded event this afternoon.
“He has done really well,” Weir said.
“He had a good gallop over a mile on the course proper down there on Tuesday morning and got through it well.
“I am really happy with the preparation he has had.
“Obviously this run will have him at 100% and we certainly won’t be using fitness as an excuse today.”
Weir’s team at Flemington this afternoon is rounded out by veteran stayer Gotta Take Care in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) and Lake Sententia in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m).