Local Perth horseman Simon Miller will take over the preparation of this summer’s 2014 Winterbottom Stakes favourite Angelic Light when the Robbie Griffiths-trained mare arrives in Western Australia.
Cranbourne-based Griffiths has 100% confidence Miller, a former stable foreman for him, is the right man to stable his Holy Roman Emperor five-year-old with while she chases the richest of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
“Simon knows how I operate, how I feed them. He knows me back to front,” Griffiths told TVN on Thursday.
“I’m delighted, it feels like an extension of my business here. For my first runner in Perth and her first trip away it could not be a better scenario.”
Angelic Light’s first assignment at the carnival will be in Saturday week’s $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), the Railway Stakes Day feature one of three Group 1s held at Ascot Racecourse.
There she will be looking to break Griffiths’ Group 1 maiden status, the horseman having prepared five Group 1 runner-ups but never a winner.
Based on her excellent lead-up form in Melbourne this preparation, Angelic Light is already topping the futures Winterbottom Stakes odds at a short quote of $3.50.
In her latest interstate assignment she was runner-up behind Platelet in Adelaide’s Group 12 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville back in April.
Since then she’s had four spring runs all at Moonee Valley Racecourse finishing no worse than fourth.
She won the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) second-up before going back up to elite level company on September 26 when under a length away fourth in a blanket finish behind Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m).
Her latest run came a month later under the lights on October 24 when she was nudged out by a nose running second to the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Griffiths was thrilled with her Manikato Stakes performance, when ridden by Damien Oliver, and believes she’s the deserving Winterbottom Stakes favourite with Oliver retaining the ride.
She makes the trip on Friday and is in ace condition for the journey following her good work at home over the past five days.
“She is good order, she did some nice strong pacework on Saturday and Tuesday and had a nice controlled gallop this morning,” Griffiths said.
Griffiths’ only concern is how she will handle travelling to Perth, the trip having bought more than a few great east coast gallopers undone over the years.
“If she holds her form she is going to be a terrific chance,” Griffiths said.
“If she meet exactly the same race at Moonee Valley or in Melbourne you would be very confident, but it is the unknown of the travel.
“But, we’re going to make the trip and hopefully she will handle it well.”
Angelic Light will be travelling solo with Griffiths ruling out also taking his four-year-old Commands mare Girl In Flight over for the other November 22 feature, the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
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