Mick Price will be better able to gauge the Group 1 potential of his unraced filly Fitna after the Thousand Guineas 2014 hope debuts at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday.
The Caulfield horseman is expecting big things early from the daughter of Fastnet Rock with connections paying $400,000 for the nicely bred filly at last year’s William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
A rising three-year-old, Fitna is engaged for the first at Flemington this weekend as one of 11 juveniles in the $100,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club Handicap (1200m).
She’s drawn wide in gate 10 with Glen Boss aboard but her pedigree and early praise from Price has her installed as the $4.20 favourite.
Following closely in the markets is then the David Hayes-trained Belgua Caviar ($4.40), whose mother Scandinavia is the grand-dam of undefeated turf queen Black Caviar, also on debut and out to live up to the hype.
Fitna is being prepared for a major Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign with Price targeting the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) held this year on Caulfield Guineas Day, October 11.
“She’s a nice big, strong filly and I’m hoping that she can be a Thousand Guineas filly,” Price told RSN.
Current futures Thousand Guineas betting markets are led by Darley’s Blue Diamond winner Earthquake ($5.50) and the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Champagne Stakes champ Go Indy Go ($6.50).
Fitna is yet to be added to the markets but if she comes out with a good debut could soon feature in the Thousand Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Price is tipping her for better things once she’s stepped up over more distance, the 1600m looking ideal for her, but hopes she can kick things off with a sprint win on debut.
“She only has to run in the first three for us to be pleased with her but she’ll be a nice filly over the mile,” he said.
“There’s a couple of nice horses that have had good debuts in the race and it’s not going to be an easy race to win but our expectations are that she’ll run in the first three or four.”
The only thing hampering her chances though is the rain.
Flemington is currently a Dead (5) with showers, Hayes saying she wouldn’t be at her best on a rain-affected track.
“She doesn’t handle the choppy ground, I galloped her here at Caulfield last Saturday on a heavy track and she was no good on it so I think the track at Flemington should be OK for her,” he said.
“I would love to see her ridden with a bit of cover. Hopefully she can follow the right horse and get a trail into the race.”
Follow the spring progress of Fitna here at Races.com.au and to get behind her for Saturday and beyond make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au offering the Ladbrokes Card where your money is yours anytime from any ATM in the country!