While much has been made of the class of Sydney’s three-year-old colts and geldings, the fillies have presented as a more even bunch.
Away Game led the way as a two-year-old winning the Magic Millions Classic and placing in the Golden Slipper but she appears set to campaign in Melbourne.
The promising See You Soon was retired this week due to ongoing barrier issues, while little more than two lengths separated the first four fillies across the line in the Silver Shadow Stakes.
Third and fourth in that race, Miss Canada and Redoute’s Image, are both trained by Kris Lees.
Along with stablemate Chianti, the pair return to Randwick on Saturday chasing a black-type win in the Group Two Furious Stakes (1200m).
Lees won the race in 2008 with Samantha Miss, the benchmark filly of her three-year-old season who went on to clean-sweep the Princess Series and place in the Cox Plate.
The trainer says Saturday’s race presents an opportunity for the latest star to emerge, if there is one.
“At this stage the fillies look pretty even so this race will probably paint a clearer picture,” Lees said.
A smart first-up winner at Hawkesbury, Chianti is the most favoured of the Lees trio, although the trainer can find little to separate his fillies.
He believes luck in the run will be critical and says Miss Canada and Redoute’s Image no longer have a fitness advantage over most of their rivals, as they did in the Silver Shadow.
“Luck in running will play its part. A few of these other fillies have a run under their belts now, we did have a bit of a fitness edge last time which has levelled out,” Lees said.
“But they have both come on well and will be competitive again.
“There’s not much between the three of them.”
New Zealander La Vernazza has been scratched from the Furious after pulling up lame from trackwork on Thursday.
The X-factor could be Chris Waller-trained favourite Hungry Heart, who resumes off a promising juvenile campaign that included a fifth to Farnan in the Golden Slipper.