There is nothing separating the top three elects in the betting market for the Listed 2012 Just Now Quality (1400m) which will take place at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Robert Heathcote-trained pair Fire Up Fifi and Funtantes as well as Michael Lakey’s Risk Aversion all share favouritism at bookmaker.com.au at the price of $5.50.
All three are well-regarded mares, with Fire Up Fifi expected to improve from a first-up fifth and return to the sort of form that saw her win five of seven starts during the winter.
Funtantes has finished in the top three in all three starts since resuming in October while Risk Aversion was beaten by just more than a length in the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara at the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Just behind the trio is Heathcote’s hit-and-miss Fillydelphia ($6) who was one of the stars of last year’s summer series.
The leading Queensland trainer admits the stakes-winning mare has soundness issues but is confident she can produce a strong performance this weekend.
“She’s always going to be a mare with soundness issues,” Heathcote said.
“As she’s gotten older we’ve had to be more protective with her but she should run a big race.”
Also high up in the market is Sydney mare Jester’s Girl ($7) who will be out to record back-to-back wins after taking out the Listed Travel Associates Classic (1200m) at Eagle Farm on December 1.
The Gerald Ryan-trained four-year-old was having just the 10th start of her career but performed admirably to beat home Bound To Blush and Funtantes.
No other horse falls under double figures, with Rose Of Scotland ($11) and four-year-old Cuddlesome the next best at $13.
Cuddlesome will need to bounce back from a sixth-place finish in the Travel Associates Classic at Eagle Farm but has plenty of ability which was obvious earlier this campaign when she produced four consecutive wins.
Others contesting the Just Now Quality include last-start winner Amalfi Dreams ($15), Sunset Affair ($21) and Purfectress ($21).