This weekend a small but classy field of three-year-old fillies will face off in the 2014 Flight Stakes in Sydney, a mile classic apprentice jockey Winona Costin is confident her contender Press Report can be competitive in.
Only eight fillies were nominated for this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) which runs as one of three Group 1s on the Royal Randwick Epsom Handicap Day program on Saturday.
The likely favourite is the John Thompson-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock First Seal who comes off a win in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 20.
The most successful preparatory race producing more Flight Stakes winners than any other lead-up in recent years, the Tea Rose Stakes was a close battle with First Seal holding off the previously undefeated Winx by three quarters of a length.
Chris Waller’s Street Cry filly Winx is also backing up in the Flight Stakes with the duo tipped to fight it out for the top two placings again.
Rosehill-based trainer Lee Curtis though is hoping that isn’t the case and that his Written Tycoon filly Press Report can put herself into the race.
A winner of just one of her eight starts to date, Press Report is yet to race over further than 1400m.
Her latest run was in Group 1 company against the boys at her home track on September 13 when she finished just over three lengths away seventh to Hallowed Crown in the Golden Rose Stakes.
That was a promising one and an effort Curtis is tipping her to improve on as she steps up to the 1600m for the Flight Stakes.
Also confident of improvement when up over a mile is the filly’s jockey for Saturday Costin who has shared the rides on the chestnut with Glyn Schofield.
“I’m pretty confident she can run the mile against the fillies,” she told AAP.
Costin has ridden Press Report under race conditions twice this season for a Rosehill win over 1300m and her seventh in the Golden Rose.
They will have a tough assignment upsetting the shorties in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au however with recent history on the side of the favourites – four punters’ picks saluting since 2008 including Guelph last year.
Costin could also secure a ride in Saturday’s feature race, the $500,000 Group 1 The Star Epsom Handicap (1600m) aboard the David Payne-trained roughie of the race Honorius.
”Because he’s got a light weight (52.5kg) and I’ve ridden him before there’s a chance I could be on him if he runs,” she said.
Holy Roman Emperor stallion Honorius, paying $101 in futures Epsom Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, comes off a fifth to Junoob in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 20 when ridden by Jeff Lloyd.
Costin last rode him on August 16 for a fifth behind Entirely Platinum over 1400m at Rosehill.
The 2014 Flight Stakes field of final acceptors and barrier draw will be out on Wednesday along with all the other Epsom Handicap Day races and published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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