Trainer Simon Miller will add blinkers to the gear of his in-form mare Miss Rose De Lago to help sharpen her up for the 2014 RJ Peters Stakes at home at Ascot Racecourse this weekend.
The four-year-old daughter of Encosta De Lago is one of 11 hopefuls set to face off in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m).
The handicap clash, running as Race 6 at 3:50pm (local), is being used by a number of gallopers as a final lead-up to the following weekend’s $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) back at the track.
One of only three Group 1 races during the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, the 2014 Railway Stakes is certainly on the radar for Miller’s classy four-year-old.
In the latest Railway Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Miss Rose De Lago pays $17 to win in futures markets led by Tasmania’s The Cleaner ($5.50).
That’s a price sure to firm should she come out and win the RJ Peters Stakes, securing her Railway Stakes start, from barrier six with Peter Knuckey retaining the ride.
Knuckey has ridden her for her past two runs this season including a dead-heat win with Wroughted over 1300m at Belmont back on October 11.
Her latest effort was then at Ascot a week later when, on October 18, she finished one and a half lengths away second behind fuchsia Bandana in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m).
The Northerly Stakes form could hold up on Saturday, and Miller is hoping it does as he puts the blinkers back on his contender who hasn’t donned them all campaign.
She did have them on for her winning Belmont trial over 1000m on Monday, Knuckey guiding her to victory over Petrol Power in the hit-out.
“I think she is more effective with the blinkers on and I just wanted to give her a practice in the gear,” Miller told Perth Racing.
“She pulled up really good from the trial.”
Miss Rose De Lago currently sits 27th in the Railway Stakes order of entry and so Saturday’s assignment is a must-win if she’s to make the Group 1 field seven days later.
If she is to miss out on a start Miller will still be represented by the already qualified Platinum Rocker.
A $21 chance in the latest Railway Stakes betting markets, the seven-year-old Love A Dane mare raced last Saturday second-up finishing a credible third behind Magnifisio in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
She’s got Group 1 form already having finished only half a length away second to Luckygray in the Railway Stakes last year after overcoming a horror barrier 14 of 15 draw.
The evergreen veteran is also nominated for Saturday week’s $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) over the sprint distance but it is the Railway she’ll run in.
“Platinum Rocker is now definitely looking for the mile and the 1800m,” Miller confirmed.
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