First-up specialist Jami Lady has a wide barrier to contend with at Doomben but her co-trainer Matt Hoysted is not conceding defeat.
Jami Lady resumes from a spell in the Austrans Handicap, drawing awkwardly in barrier 10 of 15 from the tricky 1050 metre start.
With only a short run before the first turn, horses drawn double figure alleys are often forced to cover extra ground but Hoysted believes Jami Lady is talented enough to overcome that hurdle.
“She’s giving us every indication this campaign she’s as good, if not better, than last time in,” Hoysted said.
“We’d probably be more confident if we could be assured of getting a soft run but she’s still got the class to run well.
“Obviously the gate is a little bit sticky and there looks plenty of speed in the race so hopefully she can get over onto the back of a few with some cover.”
From four previous first-up appearances, Jami Lady has been successful on three occasions.
The mare pleased Hoysted with her win in a Deagon barrier trial earlier this month.
“She wasn’t asked to do a lot and didn’t come off the bridle but they ran really good time and a couple behind her are pretty smart,” he said.
“Even though she’s only had the one trial going into this race we’ve been able to get a couple of nice gallops into her and her work on Tuesday was sensational.”
The Magic Millions Fillies and Mares (1300m) at the Gold Coast in January will be Jami Lady’s primary summer carnival goal.
“This run will bring her to her top for the Keith Noud Quality in three weeks then we’ll pick and choose where we head leading up to the Millions race,” Hoysted said.
Jami Lady was beaten at her only two attempts beyond 1200 metres last campaign but Hoysted doesn’t believe it will be an issue for the mare this time.
Hoysted and Steve O’Dea formally entered into a training partnership this week.