Co-trainer Trent Busuttin is confident that Garrard will begin her Spring Carnival campaign in style when she steps out in a 1200m sprint at The Valley first-up on Saturday.
Garrard was included in nominations for both the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) in Sydney and Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) in Melbourne last weekend, however Busuttin elected to bypass both races with a view towards giving the filly a ‘softer’ Launchpad.
“While we’re hopeful she’s a stakes filly, and her record probably says she is with that stakes placing, we’d just like to get a win for her to build some confidence,” Busuttin told AAP.
“She has been beaten by three pretty good fillies as a two-year-old. And while she has won a maiden, it would be nice if she we could get a confidence builder at the start of the campaign.
“Whether it works out that way or not, I just thought with a lot of the good fillies running in the Quezette or the Sydney race, this Moonee Valley race might come up a bit lighter.”
Garrard immediately stamped herself as a filly to follow when she debuted for second behind subsequent Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes champion Catchy in a 1000m at The Valley on December 9th; beating home the likes of Limestone.
Sent for a freshen-up before placing second behind Magic Millions winner Houtzen in the Sky Thoroughbred Central Handicap (1050m) on Christmas Eve, the Sepoy filly resumed for a maiden race win in the No Fuss Event Hire Maiden Plate (1000m) on February 28th and was last seen boxing on for second behind Shoals in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in March.
Busuttin conceded that there is plenty of water to go under the bridge before the Group 1 feature for fillies is run on October 14th, but confirmed the 2017 Thousand Guineas (1600m) is the major target for Garrard this time in.
“We’ll find out where we sit in the pecking order this time in,” he added.
The field for Saturday’s Super Vobis Three-Years-Olds Fillies Plate (1200m) is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Garrard is currently available at early 2017 Thousand Guineas odds of $34 at Ladbrokes.com.au.