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Fitter Leotie right for Sandown attempt

Trainer Henry Dwyer is looking for improvement from Leotie at Sandown after a frustrating start to her campaign.

Leotie contests the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1600m) on Saturday after running an improved third at her last start behind Pedrena at Caulfield on May 13.

The three-year-old showed potential last spring running second to future Group One winner I Am A Star in the Quezette Stakes at Caulfield at her third start.

She then won two races before finishing unplaced in the Group One Thousand Guineas and went for a spell.

But two failed performances to start her campaign before her recent third left Dwyer searching for answers.

While the filly had fully recovered from a bone chip operation she had a lingering lower airway inflammatory disease that was causing breathing issues.

Dwyer has been training Leotie at his St Leonards property near Geelong.

“It’s hard to get them fit when you’re trying to deal with airway diseases and trying to deal with what’s causing it,” Dwyer said.

“We’ve localised it to an allergy to dust more than anything.

“We’ve got a dust-free environment down at the farm and we seem to be able to work her properly and get her a bit fitter.”

Leotie carried 59.5kg at her most recent start, five kilograms more than Pedrena with the difference this time around just one kilogram.

“The other day was a bit of a return to form,” Dwyer said.

“She meets the winner better at the weights this time and should be improved significantly fitness wise from the run.”

Pedrena holds favouritism at $3.20 for Saturday’s race while Leotie is on the third line of betting at $6.50.

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