Mornington-based horseman David Brideoake is confident his resuming filly Warm Love can salute for her second black-type success when she starts the favourite in Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes.
The well-bred daughter of Octagonal from Flying Spur mare Charangas, rising four-year-old Warm Love races first-up in the $100,000 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield following a five month break.
Prior to her time off, Warm Love hit the headlines when she started in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in February as an $80 roughie.
She showed true grit, fighting back from early interference in her first elite level test to finish five lengths away fifth behind superstar winner Black Caviar and runner-up Hay List.
Leading up to her eye-catching Lighting Stakes effort, Warm Love was in scintillating form scoring a hat-trick of wins throughout her summer campaign before finishing a close second to Grand Duels in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 22.
Having started 12 times to date for five wins and four minor placings, Warm Love is already a stakes winner thanks to her triumph in the Listed Queen Adelaide Stakes (1000m) at Morphettville back in February of 2010.
The promising sprinter comes into Saturday’s Monash Stakes showdown fresh and fit and after her gallant run behind the world’s best, Warm Love has opened the favourite.
“She went out on a good note and she’s come back in very good shape,” Brideoake said.
Drawn to perfection in barrier three, Warm Love will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn for the second time.
Dunn previously rode Warm Love to victory from the same gate (three) at the same track (Caulfield) and distance (1100m) back in January – all good signs according to her connections.
She is also the 56kg lightweight of the weight-for-age feature, very manageable for Warm Love who has carted 59kg to victory when she won the Nouvelle Star Handicap (1000m) at Flemington in January by an emphatic three lengths.
“Her weight’s not terribly different to last preparation, but she’s a lot more mature mentally and if we could envisage her improving a length, that would take us a long way,” Brideoake said.
Looking towards the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Brideoake hopes a strong performance on Saturday will be the indicator for him to step Warm Love up to 1200 metres.
“I’d like to attempt to get her to six furlongs this preparation and I think this improved mental attitude will get her there,” he said.
“If she can run six furlongs there are a lot of good races for her.
“I think she’s seasoned enough to get the six and I think, as she goes on, that level of toughness is really developing in her now.”
The 2011 Sir John Monash Stakes attracted a final field of just eight sprinters, the biggest threats to Warm Love being Gary Portelli’s well-trialled Group 1 winner Gold Trail, Choisir gelding Uxorious seeking their third win on the trot and the Clinton McDonald-trained Second Effort out for five straight victories.