Caulfield horseman Luke Oliver has confirmed plans to run his up-and-coming filly Jessy Belle in New South Wale’s Scone Guineas 2014 this weekend where she’ll chase a share of the juicy $400,000 in stakes.
There are 24 three-year-olds making up the nominations for this Saturday’s Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) including Rock Of Gibraltar filly Jessy Belle.
Most of the pre-race hype has been on the out-of-form Murray Baker-trained filly Twilight Royale who, if she can return to her former style that saw her win the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes last year, is in line for an incredible $2.4 million bonus.
While Twilight Royale has finished 10th or worse in her three most recent runs, including a last start 13th when beating home just one other runner in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) last time out, Jessy Belle’s lead-up form has been much more encouraging.
A winner of three of her eight starts to date she has finished second in her two Caulfield runs this time in over 1200m and then 1440m.
The first was behind The Quarterback on April 19 when defeated one and a quarter lengths by the Robbie Griffiths-trained gelding who went on to run fifth in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
Her latest run was then on May 3 when Jye McNeil guided her to finish three quarters of a length away from Griante where she ran widely in the early stages.
It’s form that has Oliver hopeful of improvement in the Inglis 3YO Scone Guineas on Saturday where the winner will come away with $240,950 for connections.
“She’s certainly earnt [sic] her chance at a race like this,” Oliver said on RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Every time we step her up and step her out she always performs really well.
“The whole prep’s been planned around this race so she goes there in good form.”
If that form holds and all goes well on Saturday then Oliver said Jessy Belle could head further north again for a shot at some of the stakes races during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“There are a couple of stakes races up there for three-year-olds over a mile which, if she runs well at Scone, that’ll be the plan for sure,” Oliver said.
That could potentially include the $250,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
Some of the big name players in this year’s Inglis 3YO Guineas meanwhile include the Hawkes-trained Chautauqua and Anthony Cummings’ Magnus gelding Alpha Beat who won the Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) and Adelaide Guineas (1600m) respectively at their latest runs.
The only other Victorian-trained three-year-old in the mix meanwhile is Under The Louvre for Robert Smerdon.
The Excellent Art colt has won five from eight to date, and their past two on the trot, most recently beating them home over 1200m at Caulfield a fortnight ago this Saturday.
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