Front running mare Star Of Giselle is looking for her fourth straight win when she lines up in the Group 3 $150,000 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sportingbet Sandown Park tomorrow.
Star Of Giselle has set the pace at her last three wins over 1400m and 1600m twice but trainer Mathew Ellerton is not worried about the Reset five year old stepping up to the 1800m for the first time.
At her only run beyond 1600m, Star Of Giselle faded in the straight on a slow track over 1700m at Flemington to be a well beaten sixth and Ellerton sent the mare straight to the paddock.
“You had to scout wide that day and arguably she was at the end of her prep at about her seventh run,” Ellerton said.
“She has always had her niggles here and there and this is the first prep where she has been niggle free. I never expected her to look the way she does at the moment, she looks enormous.”
Star Of Giselle comes to Sandown after leading all of the way at Moonee Valley in the Group 3 $150,000 Trojan Hand Tools Stakes (1600m) on November 27 beating Tavarnelle and Spirit Song.
Ellerton knows that Star Of Giselle will have to be at the top of her game up against some tough opposition as well as jumping up in the weights from 54.5kg to 57kg.
“She comes out of the mares grade and up in the weights so she will need to be on her game.” Ellerton said.
“She missed a start in the Emirates last week but she goes around this week hoping she can be competitive.”
Queensland galloper Grey Assignment and the Peter Stokes trained Eclair Surprise will be two of the main dangers after fighting out the finish of the Listed $150,000 Diamond Jubilee Plate (1800m) at Flemington on November 6.
Grey Assignment was going for his fourth straight win when he was nutted on the line by Eclair Surprise and the Kelso Wood trained grey will have big race jockey Glen Boss on him for the first time.
Adelaide trainer Peter Stokes fears the Sandown track could go against Eclair Surprise after coming from well back at Flemington to grab Grey Assignment right on the line.
Eclair Surprise had won twice over the 1800m but failed at his only start at Sandown early in the five year old’s career.
“The one thing that concerns me is the track,” Stokes said.
“He ran one of his worst races here the only time he’s been to Sandown.”
“He comes in very well under the conditions, especially against horses he’s already beaten.”
“He needs to take another step up but everything he’s done says he’s capable of it.”
Star Of Giselle has been installed the $3.50 favourite ahead of $4.60 chance Strikes Stars who should appreciate the step up in distance.
Eclair Surprise and David Hayes’ Niconoise share the next line of betting at $7 just in front of Grey Assignment at $7.50.