The former Peter Moody-trained Hallowell Belle will have her first race for Gai Waterhouse in the 2012 Light Fingers Stakes at Warwick Farm this Saturday since her debut in 2010, the Group 1 placed filly one of the top chances in what is looking like a very strong edition of the race.
The WA-owned Hallowell Belle originally debuted for Waterhouse in Sydney when second in the 2010 Gimcrack Stakes before being transferred to Peter Moody’s care in Melbourne, but she is back with Gai and ready to go.
The daughter of Starcraft will face a very tough field of competitors first-up in the $175,000 Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m), but Waterhouse is hopeful of a good showing from Hallowell Belle in her maiden run for the stable since returning to her original trainer.
Lightly-raced having had just nine starts to date for one win, Hallowell Belle has been tested at elite level three times to date finishing second to champion colt Sepoy in last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes as a two-year-old before her distant second behind Streama in the Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and fourth to Atlantic Jewel in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield in October.
One of Hallowell Belle’s likely rivals in the Light Fingers Stakes 2012 field on Saturday is Flight Stakes winner Streama.
The two other highly-rated entries are then Neville Layt’s Not A Single Doubt filly Kartua Queen and the John Thompson-trained Pane In The Glass.
Former Magic Millions winner Kartua Queen races second-up for the season after finishing fourth as the beaten favourite in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday, a resuming run hampered when she missed the start because of misbehavior of Here De Angels in the barriers.
Karuta Queen will once again be ridden by Tommy Berry, the hoop confident she will bounce back from her first-up disappointment.
“Karuta Queen is on the quick back-up after being unlucky at Caulfield,” he said.
“She didn’t have a hard run at Caulfield.
“She was held up behind horses for most of the race.
“I think the Warwick Farm 1200m is going to suit her.”
Pane In The Glass, meanwhile, hasn’t raced since her two disappointing seventh place finishes last October firstly to Streama in the Flight Stakes and then to Atlantic Jewel in the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Connections Patinack Farm are hoping for a return to form from the daughter of Testa Rossa that will see Pane In The Glass add a second Group win to her name along with the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) which she won first-up at the Farm back in August.
Her autumn at this stage is wide open, but options include the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 and also the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on April 21.
In the latest Luxbet futures Pane In The Glass is a $81 roughie for the Newmarket and $101 for the Doncaster.
“Nathan (Tinkler) and John (Thompson) are leaving their options open with Pane In The Glass,” Patinack Farm racing manager Robyn Hartney said.
“She might be kept to 1200 and 1400-metre races but then you have to remember she was second to Helmet in the Champagne Stakes over 1600 metres last year.
“That has ended up being a spectacular form race.”
Patinack Farm will also be represented in the race by the promising Kneeling, winner of a Listed Moonee Valley 1200m event in August before being outclassed twice at Caulfield by boom filly Atlantic Jewel, who is also dually nominated for both the Newmarket and Doncaster this autumn.
“She could be a bit of a smokey for the autumn,” Hartney said.
“I thought her trial win was super because she wasn’t pressured at any stage.”
Acceptances for the 2012 Light Fingers Stakes and all the other Warwick Farm races for this weekend will be published here at Races.com.au on Wednesday.
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