Warwick Farm-based trainer Matthew Smith has opted not to step his smart filly Combat Kitty up to the mile for the Sandown Guineas on Saturday, instead accepting the last-start Flemington winner for the $100,000 Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) on Zipping Classic Day.
While a shot at the $210,000 first prize for the Group 2 Sandown Classic win was tempting with General Nedium three-year-old Combat Kitty, after watching the youngster’s work on Tuesday morning Smith decided to keep her at the 1400 metres for now.
Combat Kitty took her career record to two wins from seven starts on Melbourne Cup Day when defeating a quality field of fellow three-year-old fillies in the Listed Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m).
One of 13 acceptors for the Twilight Glow Stakes this year, Combat Kitty is due to jump from barrier nine with Hugh Bowman aboard for the first time replacing the suspended Damien Oliver.
Lexus Hybrid Plate runner-up Mabsam and third placegetter And Rock are also both engaged for the Twilight Glow Stakes on Saturday looking to turn the tables on their last-start conqueror.
The David Hayes-trained Stratum filly Mabsam finished less than a half-length away from Combat Kitty on Cup Day having jumped from the extreme outside barrier 12 of 12.
Drawn ideally in gate two for Saturday, Mabsam presents a genuine threat as she looks to claim her first win since her successful debut at Geelong back in August.
John Mcardle’s daughter of Fastnet Rock And Rock is also drawn inside of Combat Kitty jumping from barrier seven and the form is right for her to claim an upset win as last year’s Twilight Stakes winner Zelsnitz finished third in the Lexus Hybrid Plate before her victory in the feature 12 months ago.
Three other fillies considered as dangers in the field are the Peter Snowden-trained duo of Anise (barrier 10) and Disputes (barrier six), and Mark Kavanagh’s in-form Miss Stellabelle who should get a gun run from gate four with Craig Williams engaged.
Group 3 winners Miss Stellabelle and Anise finished two-three behind Emmalene in the Listed Gucci Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day last start.
There are seven black-type features running at Sandown on Saturday including the $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) where Americain will seek a consolation win after failing to successfully defend their Melbourne Cup title.
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2011 Twilight Glow Stakes Field & Barriers
Sandown Race 2 – 12/11/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||132X4221||COMBAT KITTY||Matthew Smith||Hugh Bowman||9||57.5kg||86|
|2||1X241X2543||ANISE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||10||57.5kg||88|
|3||34X1122||MISS STELLABELLE||Mark Kavanagh||Craig Williams||4||57.5kg||88|
|4||X4562X8167||DISPUTES||Peter Snowden||Mark Zahra||6||57.5kg||78|
|5||67X2121493||AND ROCK||John McArdle||Chris Symons||7||56kg||72|
|6||14222||MABSAM||David Hayes||Brad Rawiller||2||55kg||72|
|7||3712X14||SHOPAHOLIC (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Dwayne Dunn||8||55kg||72|
|8||213||EVER THE SAME||Anthony Cummings||Craig Newitt||5||55kg||67|
|9||686X125||SECRET LIAISON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Michael Rodd||11||55kg||67|
|10||8411||REIGNING LASS||Leon Corstens||Ashley Thompson (a)||13||55kg||66|
|11||511||YOU CAN DANCE||Robbie Griffiths||Nicholas Hall||3||55kg||68|
|12||74X21||SIMPLE CHOICE||Mick Price||Michael Walker||12||55kg||62|
|13||7X532||REBEL TO RICHES||Doug Harrison||Dean Yendall||1||55kg||58|