Looking Ahead puts the spotlight on runners of interest across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are a particularly well-bred or high-priced runner having their first or second start, a promising galloper returning to the track or a horse which has trialled particularly well, we’ll aim to give you something to follow.
On Saturday, we look at key runners in the 3-year-old fillies races at Randwick and Caulfield and go across the Nullarbor to find a first starter with a story to tell in her pedigree.
Caulfield, Race 6, $150,000 Group 3 Quezette S - 1100m - 15:30 AEDT
Million-dollar yearling Casadiva (Fastnet Rock) heads straight into Group 3 company to kick off her 3-year-old season, but she can contend against some promising fillies.
Casadiva won on debut at Bendigo in February, easily beating Aristocratic Miss (Foxwedge), who won her own maiden in impressive style at Geelong on Tuesday.
She then stepped up to the G2 Sweet Embrace which she found too rich at her first campaign. Given time to mature, she returned with a good trial at Cranbourne and her trainer Brent Stanley is targeting the Thousand Guineas with her, describing her as his best 3-year-old
She is a half to stakes winner Zamzam and was sold for $1.15m at the 2017 Easter Yearling Sale.
Randwick, Race 4, $200,000 Group 2 Silver Shadow S - 1200m - 13:50 AEDT
Plenty of interest in the 3yo fillies' race in Sydney as well, especially as Oohood (I Am Invincible) looks to shed her tag as Australia's best maiden.
She had three Group 1 placings last campaign including a second in the Golden Slipper behind Estijaab (Snitzel), but gets a race which should see her finally break through for a much deserved win.
Oohood was bred and is raced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. Her dam Bella Sunday, a half-sister to Arrowfield's outstanding stallion Not a Single Doubt, was sold by Arrowfield for $110,000 in 2013.
Belmont, Race 1, $70,000 3yo SWP - 1000m - 14:28 AEDT
A little off-broadway here, but trainer Simon Miller has a first starter Flirtini (Artie Schiller) engaged in the first race in Perth on Saturday which is worth keeping an eye on.
Flirtini was brought at the 2017 Classic Yearling Sale for $150,000 by WA owners Barry and Jan McRostie, who raced states winning mares Miss Rose De Lago and Merriest. She has won a couple of trials at Lark Hill and will be ridden by WAs best jockey William Pike.
The horse has an interesting pedigree with his sire Artie Schiller and dam Ajaweed out of half sisters, who are out of multiple G1 winning American mare and prolific stakes producer Tallahto. Ajaweed's five foals to race so far have all been winners, including one of the best gallopers in Malaysia, Truson.