Alpha Miss returned to racing for an impressive win at Group 2 level a fortnight ago, and leading hoop Craig Williams believes the performance underlines the classy mare as a serious chance for success in Friday’s featured Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Jumping from the gates well in the Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 10th, Williams elected to settle Alpha Miss off the pace of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before mustering a huge late turn of foot to beat the likes of Lankan Rupee to the line.
Williams is thrilled to have retained the ride on the rising star for her 2015 Manikato Stakes appearance and believes she is more than up to the class of the talented field of sprinters confirmed for the Friday night feature.
“I’m really happy with Alpha Miss,” Williams said.
“She’s just taken over in the care of Robert Smerdon and we’ve been really happy with her preparation coming in.
“The way she’s going this preparation, it warrants this graduation to the Manikato Stakes. She’s worked well here.
“She worked here at the Valley prior to her first start at Caulfield and I was really happy with how she went. I also worked her yesterday at Sandown and she’s really come on from the confidence of having a win.”
Alpha Miss remained in the paddock through the recent autumn and winter carnivals and Williams believes she has taken huge benefit from the extended time away from racing.
“She was off the track for a good ten months and it was great to see her coming back at a good level and in a winning way,” Williams said.
“She hasn’t gone backwards, she’s come on with confidence and really looking forward to her stepping up to our best sprinters.”
Alpha Miss stamped herself as a filly to follow through an impressive two-year-old campaign; winning the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) on debut as well as the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) and finishing third behind Earthquake and Mossfun in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) most notably.
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