While Houtzen and Catchy will line up as two of the favourites in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper, a filly who bumped into those fillies at her first two starts will be chasing her first stakes win in Melbourne.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Garrard runs in Saturday’s Group Three TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington after breaking through for a maiden win at Bendigo at her third start last month.
Garrard made her debut at a Moonee Valley night meeting in December and was chased down by fellow debutante Catchy.
Catchy is now unbeaten in four starts, including the Group One Blue Diamond, and is at $7 for Saturday’s Golden Slipper.
Garrard stepped out next at Doomben on December 24 only to again finish second, this time to Houtzen who then won the Magic Millions Classic and is the Slipper favourite.
“She ran into two of the best two-year-olds in the country,” Young said.
“But that trip away to Queensland did her the world of good. She’s mentally matured and we can’t fault her work at all.”
Young said the filly had come through her Bendigo win well.
“Her work was great on Saturday morning,” Young said.
“It’s a little bit of a step up being a Group race at Flemington but I’d really like to see her ridden a little bit colder.
“It’s a nice big straight at Flemington. In her last few races she’s been ridden handy and it’s sort of the wrong way to ride her.
“In the first trial she ever had she was ridden cold and you could really see the turn of foot she’s got.
“So we’ll just see how the race pans out on Saturday.”
Young said Garrard had shown Group-class potential from early on.
“There’s not many at home in the barn that can keep up with her in her work,” she said.
The Group One ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes in Sydney is an option for Garrard but Young said there would be no decision until after Saturday.No tags for this post.