Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir will test out Perfect Reflection with the blinkers on in a bid to increase her chances in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Perfect Reflection is scheduled to gallop at Ballarat on Tuesday morning and Weir will monitor the former West Australian trained filly’s response to the head gear before confirming if she wears them on race day.
“We’re just going to see with her, whether the blinkers are the answer. I’ve got a feeling they might be but we’ll see,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“I haven’t given up on her as a winning chance and it’s the race she came over here for.’’
Perfect Reflection has had one run for Weir since being transferred from the Perth stables of Grant Williams who prepared her for five wins from five starts, including a victory in the Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot during the 2015 Perth Summer Carnival.
The More Than Ready filly was sent out as the $3 favourite at her first run for the Melbourne premiership winning trainer but was beaten almost a length when third behind Don’t Doubt Mamma in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
But Weir is happy to push on towards the Australian Guineas with the filly and will join stablemates Mahuta and Palentino in the Group 1 for the three year olds at Flemington.
Mahuta is the winner of his last six starts and was a raging hot favourite to win the Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday, but Weir scratched the Flying Spur colt after connections said they would rather wait and run in the Australian Guineas this week.
Palentino is also on track for the Australian Guineas even though he was relegated to second place on protest after being first across the line in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
The Mike Moroney trained Tivaci was awarded the race after stewards upheld a protest by his rider Craig Williams against Palentino who was deemed to have interfered with him at the 900m.
Palentino is the highest rated of the three Weir Australian Guineas hopefuls on the second line of betting at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au, just ahead of Mahuta at $7 while Perfect Reflection is marked as a $9 chance.
Kiwi colt Xtravagant is the ruling favourite at $3.80 and will head to Melbourne on the back of an eight lengths victory in the Group 1 NZ$218,000 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in New Zealand on February 13.
Early market order for the Australian Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Xtravagant, $5 Palentino, $7 Mahuta, Tarzino, $9 Perfect Refection, $10 Tivaci, $13 Risque, Tulsa, $$17 Jameka, River Wild, $21 Lizard Island, Sailing By, Vanbrugh.