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Quiet achiever Navagio in stakes race

Trainer Colin Little doesn’t have the same concerns for Navagio ahead of a stakes race at Caulfield that he had before her first-up victory.

Navagio lines up in the Group Three Kevin Hayes Stakes on Saturday and Little says she will appreciate the step up to 1200m.

Navagio scored a stylish first-up 1100m win at Flemington coming from back in the field.

Little instructed jockey Michael Dee to settle her back after the filly led and over-raced in a trial leading up to her return.

“I was a bit concerned that she was starting to go a bit hard so we rode her back at Flemington,” Little said.

“It was about teaching her to relax for her overall career because she might get out to 1400 metres and a mile.

“Luckily it worked. She went back, went to sleep, got home and was able to win.”

Little won the Kevin Hayes Stakes with the talented Soft Sand in 2012 and while he doesn’t believe Navagio is in the same class, she is showing steady improvement.

“She’s a quiet achiever and has improved since last preparation,” Little said.

“She was always going to this race, looking for a bit of black type.

“She did so well early in the preparation that we were able to get a run into her early and it turned out to be the right race.”

Little is looking no further than Saturday’s race waiting to see how the filly comes through the run.

But he’s keen to try her over more ground.

“She’s gone 1100 metres, now she’s going 1200,” he said.

“She’s a nice filly, much stronger than last preparation and has got a nice brain.

“She did what we asked her to do the other day so we’ll just keep poking away, but keep her nice and relaxed and then stretch her out a little bit.”

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