Top Perth trainer Simon Miller gives his mare Power Princess an excellent chance to win her maiden Group 1 when she contests the $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Power Princess has been placed twice at her only two runs in Group 1 company and Miller says the Marwina seven year old is going better than she was last year when second to Barakey in the 2012 running of the weight for age Group 1 sprint.
“I reckon she is going better now than what she was last year. It’ll be bloody exciting to see if she can go one better,” Miller told the Sportsman.
Power Princess’ other test at Group 1 level resulted in a third to world champion sprinter Black Caviar in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville during the 2012 Adelaide Autumn Carnival.
Miller was excited to see Power Princess rattle home at her first run back from a break getting to within a head of Winterbottom Stakes fancy Barakey in the Group 3 $125,000 Sea Corp Starlight Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot four weeks ago.
The Perth trainer said that Power Princess’ work has been first class since that run and a Belmont barrier trial has topped her off nicely.
“Her first-up run was enormous and the trial in between was the best I’ve seen her trial,” Miller said.
“She’s ticked all the boxes and her work on Tuesday morning was brilliant so hopefully that correlates to getting the job done.”
But this year’s assignment will be slightly harder and as well as facing up again to Barakey and last year’s third placegetter Spirit Of Boom, Australia’s newly crowned sprint king Buffering has made the trip to Perth searching for a hat trick of Group 1 wins.
Leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote and his group of faithful owners have been rewarded with Buffering’s recent Group 1 success after the Mossman gelding had been denied a win at the top level on so many occasions.
Buffering claimed his first Group 1 win two starts back beating Lucky Nine in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 then followed that up with a three quarters of a length win over Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Also in the mix is the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change who will also appreciate the hot pace up front that is expected to be put on by Barakey and Buffering.
Power Princess has been marked a $10 chance to win her first Group 1 with Buffering dominating the betting as the $2.20 favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes ahead of Barakey at $4.40 while Moment Of Change and Spirit Of Boom share the next line of betting at $7.50.