Thousand Guineas favourite Alizee has produced exactly what her trainer James Cummings was hoping to see in a gallop at Caulfield in preparation for what he hopes will be another feature spring carnival win.
After winning the Group One Flight Stakes for fillies over 1600m in Sydney last Saturday week at Randwick, Alizee has been brought to Melbourne for Saturday’s Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Alizee turned in a “perfect” gallop early on Tuesday morning when she familiarised herself with the circuit, several hours before she came up with barrier two in the field of eight.
She is at $2.15 for what will be her first Melbourne start.
Cummings was at Caulfield to watch Alizee work with stablemate Ellenroh on the course proper.
After galloping behind her work partner early, Alizee joined her at the top of the straight and cruised to the line about a length in front.
“I’m delighted with her and as far as her work this morning goes, it was perfect for her,” Cummings said.
“It was just what I wanted to see out of her.”
“She’s got a really fast furlong. She was just held together this morning and just cruised up the straight and she seemed to enjoy herself.
“I still expect that she’ll be a little lost at Caulfield on the weekend but you certainly couldn’t have expected her to do any better this morning.”
Despite Alizee being deep in her preparation, Cummings believes the filly has come through her Flight Stakes win better than her Tea Rose Stakes victory at her previous start.
But he also said the filly faced a challenge taking on the Melbourne fillies in their own backyard with their superior experience racing anti-clockwise.
It’s a challenge he is looking forward to.
“Beating them on their own turf is going to be really hard to do. We need things to go right for us to be beating them on their home turf,” he said.
Second favourite Shoals will have blinkers on for the first time, replacing winkers.
Jockey Mark Zahra tested Shoals who wore blinkers in a gallop at Flemington early on Tuesday morning and he gave the gear the thumbs-up.
“She worked very sharply in them,” Zahra said.
“I just wanted to see whether she would overdo it in them, which she didn’t.
“She was sharp enough but relaxed enough.”