Lasqueti Spirit (right) will again take on Winx (left) in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick.
Lee Curtis is looking to Lasqueti Spirit to take her morning trackwork to the races as the trainer tries to get the Group One winner back in winning form.
Curtis is pretty sure it won’t be this week when she takes on Winx in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick, but he has fond memories of last year’s race.
Lasqueti Spirit ran two lengths second to Winx in what remains her best performance since she won the VRC Oaks in November 2016.
After the 2017 Chipping Norton, Lasqueti Spirit had four more autumn starts including the Australian Oaks in which she finished third behind Bonneval and Perfect Rhyme.
Curtis and her owners pulled the pin after the mare had two unsatisfactory starts in the spring and started again.
“She was terrible last preparation but she’s going super and I’ve been happy with her work this time around,” Curtis said.
“We won’t know until she races if she has come back as well as I think she has. She has a bit more zest than she had in the spring.
“I hope she can be reasonably handy in the run and if she can finish off well we’ll be happy.
“She won’t beat Winx but her second in the race last year was a thrill.”
Jay Ford, who rode Lasqueti Spirit in the race last year, is again in the saddle and has also been pleased with her two barrier trials and her work.
Curtis said the Tancred Stakes (2400m) on March 31 at Rosehill was the goal for Lasqueti Spirit if she came back as he expected.
She and Winx are the only two mares in the Chipping Norton with 13 entries taken on Monday.
The TAB posted Winx at $1.08 in its first market on the Chipping Norton with Comin’ Through, Endless Drama and Prized Icon next at $15.