Recently inducted Hall Of Fame trainer Chris...
Four-year-old Missy Longstocking will be on notice when she runs in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) this Saturday as trainer Liam Birchley has warned the mare will only remain in Melbourne if she runs well.
Missy Longstocking is one of ten sprinters set to tackle the CF Orr Stakes Day supporting race, headlined by the third highest-rated sprinter Chautauqua. While Birchley admits it’s a tall order to expect the lightly raced mare to beat home Chuatauqua, he does expect a good performance if she is going to continue on her expected path of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
“She had a jump-out last Tuesday and I would expect her to be forward enough in what looks a very strong race on Saturday,” Birchley told Sky Racing.
“It is a case of go hard or go home for her. We are looking at the Group One double of the Oakleigh Plate and then the VRC Newmarket.
“But if she doesn’t show us something on Saturday we would be heading home.”
The 2015 Rubiton Stakes will be just the second race in 13 months for Missy Longstocking, who missed the majority of last year after suffering an injury in the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) in January.
Almost one year to the day, the mare returned to the track at the same race meeting, earning herself a minor placing in the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m).
She was then set to run in the Listed Nudgee Fillies & Mares Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on January 24 but after the race was washed out and delayed until the following week, Birchley opted to take her straight to Melbourne to begin his ambitious autumn campaign.
“She has flown to Melbourne before on a Wednesday night and raced well on the Saturday when she won a Group Three race at Caulfield,” he said.
The race in question is the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m), which Missy Longstocking won on the back of a Benchmark 85 win at Eagle Farm two weeks earlier.
Birchley expects the mare to perform better than her luckless first-up run as she jumps from barrier eight with Damian Browne.
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