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Miss Leonidas chases Bel Esprit Stakes win

miss leonidas
Trainer Shaun Dwyer has changed Miss Leonidas’ work routine hoping to coax the best from her.

The lessons Shaun Dwyer learned from another sprinter he trained are being used to calm Miss Leonidas.

Lazyaxl, a debut winner at Bendigo five years ago, had the potential to be a Group One horse according to Dwyer but did not reach his full potential because of his racing manners.

Dwyer saw those same characteristics in Miss Leonidas who runs in Saturday’s Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.

Miss Leonidas showed her potential to win a Moonee Valley three-year-old fillies race by six lengths last June before two sound Caulfield performances.

One of those was a sixth, carrying the same weight as Bel Esprit rival Eduardo, at Caulfield in October.

On Saturday Miss Leonidas meets that sprinter 5kg better.

Miss Leonidas resumed with a second placing to The Centurian at Mornington on March 23, a run Dwyer described as terrific.

But Dwyer said Miss Leonidas had been a testing animal throughout her career.

“She’s been a bit difficult from day one, purely in her nature,” Dwyer said.

“She’s very sound reactive and sight reactive.

“She gets a bit of a fright very easily and she got into a racing mentality that we’ve all seen that makes it quite difficult for her, her jockey but more so her owners.”

Miss Leonidas’ racing manners are to jump and run, but Dwyer says the mare is now more relaxed after a change to her work routine.

She can still be a bit flighty, but her work now is constructed more like a stayer.

“With this mare I think I’ve got a bit smarter,” Dwyer said.

“What we do is work her like a stayer. She does three or four laps around Bendigo and just walks off the track.

“She’s aerobically fit but doesn’t do the speed work.”

Since her first-up run, Dwyer said Miss Leonidas had a jump-out at Bendigo where she sat off Rocket Tommy before beating him home.

Miss Leonidas has drawn barrier nine in the 12-horse field and will be partnered by Joe Bowditch who rode the mare first-up at Mornington.

“I’m disappointed with the barrier but I’m confident she’ll run well,” Dwyer said.

“Joey will have a much better idea about her after riding her at Mornington last time.”

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