Trainer David Payne is confident talented mare Lilliburlero is more than capable of performing in her maiden tilt at the highest level in Australian racing in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick this weekend, despite a less-than-convincing run in last weekend’s Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).
Having to overcome poor position and leaving a final sprint too late to finish more than three lengths off the pace in sixth, Payne told TVN he is expecting a far greater and more polished performance from the previously in-form mare this weekend.
“We cocked it up last week; I was keen for her to race off the speed but I didn’t think she would be back to last; Nash (Rawiller, jockey) over did it a little but this week we will be going forward” Payne said.
“Her owners are keen to give her an opportunity at running in a Group 1 race and I think this is a nice opportunity to do so.”
Appearing to find the heavy going of last weekend’s soft and soaked Randwick race surface, Payne said he is thrilled with the prospect of a far firmer and more reliable track for this weekend’s All Aged Stakes.
“She just hates it wet; she doesn’t mind it dead but all her best runs are on good tracks” Payne added.
Securing an impressive total of four wins and three places from only 15 competitive race starts to date, Lilliburlero was unable to string together much of a run of form over her 2013 spring preparation, however has arguably returned to the track in career best form this time in.
Producing a strong turn of foot to stroll to victory in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) first-upon February 22nd, the daughter of Redoute’s Choice was unlucky when finishing just off the pace of in-form mare A Time For Julia in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) on March 15th.
Again unlucky when finishing fifth in a fanning formation in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) on Golden Slipper day, Lilliburlero gained noticeable attention from punters in betting markets for last weekend’s Sapphire Stakes but was unable to justify the support.
Having been confirmed to partner fellow-All Aged Stakes nominee Hana’s Goal this weekend, Lilliburlero’s regular partner Nash Rawiller will be replaced by in-form, up-and-coming jockey Chad Schofield at Randwick on Saturday.
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