Linda Meech on Miss Wonderland who is out to back up a last-start win when she runs in the Bagot.
After studying the opposition, trainer David Brideoake and the connections of Miss Wonderland have decided to take up the challenge of a stakes race at Flemington.
The lightly raced four-year-old is set to contest Monday’s Group Three Standish Handicap (1200m) at her seventh career start.
Miss Wonderland,to again be ridden by Linda Meech, will be having her second start for Brideoake after winning first-up on heavy ground at Sandown earlier this month.
The mare was previously prepared by Ciaron Maher and was successful up the straight over 1100m at Flemington just on 12 months ago.
She had two more starts for Maher, running second at Canterbury on her way to finishing seventh in the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast last January.
Miss Wonderland had a trial for Maher in April, but didn’t come up that campaign and was spelled again before being transferred to Brideoake.
The Mornington trainer said Miss Wonderland had trained on well since her first-up win.
“We think she’s in good enough form to be competitive and we’re happy with her training through the lead-up so it’s a nice opportunity to run her in a good race,” Brideoake said.
“She’s also run well up the straight previously so that’s certainly a plus.”
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Brideoake says he wants to test the mare in Monday’s black-type company to get a line on where she may end up class-wise.
“I personally think she’s a high quality horse,” Brideoake said.
“I’m not sure how far she’ll go but it’s always a good thing not to have any limitations and I haven’t got any limitations with her.
“She’s a runner and we’ll get a better guide how far she could go after Monday.”
Miss Wonderland will line up against Lord Of The Sky and Tasmanian galloper Tshahitsi along with Toy Boy who is aiming for three straight victories.
“Lord Of The Sky is first-up and good on his day and the Tasmanian horses seem to perform well over here of recent times, but he is unknown up the straight,” Brideoake said.
“Toy Boy looks a promising horse and a bit of a cheeky chance.”
Brideoake will also be represented by debutant La Celestina in the New Year Plate.
“She’s a nice filly that has had a couple of young horse trials at Mornington and has performed nicely,” Brideoake said.
“She hasn’t taken a step back and deserves her chance.”