Of the host of Thousand Guineas 2013 bound fillies set to face off in Moonee Valley Race 2 on Saturday it is the Peter Snowden-trained Metastasio who will jump the favourite in her three-year-old debut.
It’s a matter of quality not quantity for the $80,000 Aquanas Foods BM78 Handicap (1000m) this weekend with just six young hopefuls, including a Hawkes-trained debutant, set to face off.
Along with the unraced Maroon Bay four of the other five acceptors are all running first-up in the sprint showdown as they look to kick off their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaigns with a win.
It’s also shaping up as a likely lead-up for fillies that are eyeing the big time this spring with the bulk of the field set to be nominated for the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16 when early entries close for the classic next Tuesday.
Set to carry the 60kg top weight with Craig Williams in the saddle is the current $2.40 favourite Metastasio.
A daughter of Street Cry, Metastasio won her opening two career starts during the summer including the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) by an easy three lengths.
She was finally beaten at Caulfield on February 23 however when a disappointing eighth to Miracles of Life in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Saturday to be her first run since then.
She showed she was ready for her new season debut a fortnight ago with a decent 800m trial at Flemington with Snowden’s son and stable foreman Paul Snowden reporting to racenet.com.au that she’ll have plenty of improvement in her after Saturday.
“Saturday is very much a kick off point,” he said.
“She has done well and we are happy with her so it will give us a good guide as to where she is after the weekend.”
While Metastasio’s breeding suggests she’ll enjoy the 1600m of the Thousand Guineas, Snowden believes she’s more likely to relish the shorter distance sprints.
“She has not grown much taller but she is stronger this time around,” he said.
“She’s a speedy filly, that’s what she is so we won’t worry about the pedigree too much at this stage.”
One thing Snowden believes will be in her favour at Moonee Valley is her nice inside draw where she could easily go onto lead all the way.
“I’d say from there she will go forward but we’ll leave that up to Craig,” he said.
“She certainly has the speed to lead.”
If all goes well she’ll back up in the $120,000 Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17 before Thousand Guineas ambitions are decided either way.
“We will make a decision where she heads after she runs in the Quezette but we are certainly happy with her going into Saturday,” Snowden said.
Other top chances at Moonee Valley who are also heading towards the Thousand Guineas 2013 include David Hayes’ Blue Diamond fourth placed Gregers ($3.20), the untapped Peter Moody-trained Diamond Glow ($4.60) and Mark Riley’s Magic Millions Clockwise Classic winner I’m Too Sexy ($13).
Enjoy a weekend punt online now at bookmaker.com.au and also don’t forget to check out their generous early markets open on some of the spring’s Group 1 majors.
Don’t have a bookmaker.com.au account? Sign-up now and be instantly rewarded with your first deposit matched as a bonus bet up to $500 when you use the code BONUSBET!