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Missile Mantra to face first stakes test

missile mantra
Trainer Peter Snowden believes Missile Mantra can cope with the step to stakes grade at Caulfield.

Trainer Peter Snowden has seen enough from Missile Mantra to be optimistic the two-year-old filly can make the leap from a country maiden to stakes grade at her second start.

Missile Mantra finished strongly on debut to win an 1100m maiden for two-year-old fillies at Ballarat on April 23.

Snowden is giving the filly her chance to chase black-type in Saturday’s Vale Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield for which she was third favourite at $7 on race eve.

“There was not a lot of options, to be honest. I don’t normally go to stakes level that quickly but I thought there was enough in that race on debut and the way she won to say that she wouldn’t be out of place in a race like this,” Snowden said.

“I would have liked her to have drawn a bit better but she has come on nicely and has definitely improved since her first-up run.

“She’s definitely not out of the race at all.”

Missile Mantra has barrier 10 in the field of 14 and Beau Mertens retains the ride.

Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said it was no surprise to see the filly run well on debut based on her lead-up work and jump-outs.

“But I thought her effort in winning was quite good because she still did a few things wrong,” he said.

“She kept trying to duck in behind the horses who ran in the placings and it wasn’t until late that she got clear, but once she did she really did sprout wings.

“She will probably be midfield or slightly worse early but she does possess a great turn of foot which you saw the other day.

“She will have improved with the benefit of that first start so don’t be surprised if she gets home hard.”

Tragic and Aladaala, the third and fourth placegetters in the Ballarat race, have since come out and won maidens in Victoria this week.

Snowden said Missile Mantra seemed to be OK in rain-affected ground in trackwork but added until horses are tested under race pressure it was guesswork.

The Snowdens have two-year-olds in stakes races in three states on Saturday with Strasbourg contesting the Champagne Classic in Brisbane and Just Field running in the Woodlands Stakes at Scone.

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