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Soviet Secret faces 1600m test in Guineas

A weaker than expected field for the Sandown Guineas has convinced trainer Sam Pritchard-Gordon to give stakes-placed filly Soviet Secret her shot at the $250,000 Group Two race,

Pritchard-Gordon had originally planned to run Soviet Secret in Saturday’s $120,000 Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) for fillies at Sandown but thin nominations coupled with a track gallop which suggested she might be looking for 1600m, prompted him to aim at the richer race.

“The plan had always been to go to the Twilight Glow because she’s well-suited to fillies grade at set weights and penalties,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“But the nominations are weak in the Guineas and her work on Monday on the course proper at Mornington was good without being sharp and if I had gone to the 1400-metre race I would have been inclined to put the blinkers on.

“I just felt the Sandown mile, coupled with the fact that I didn’t think it was a particularly strong edition of the race, probably suited her down to the ground.”

Pritchard-Gordon said testing Soviet Secret over 1600m for the first time would also help shape the filly’s next campaign.

The Sandown Guineas has nine acceptors with Carbine Club Stakes runner-up Morton’s Fork favourite at $2.25 ahead of the in-form Darren Weir-trained filly Jennifer Lynn at $4.

Soviet Secret is at $21 after breaking through in a maiden at Pakenham last start over 1400m.

Soviet Secret was second in the Merson Cooper Stakes on debut at the corresponding Sandown meeting a year ago and was stakes-placed twice during her four-start juvenile season.

Pritchard-Gordon had hoped Soviet Secret might have been up to the Thousand Guineas earlier this spring but said she didn’t spell particularly well and he wasn’t happy with the way her earlier in her campaign.

Soviet Secret only made her return in a maiden at Cranbourne on October 7, finishing second, before her narrow win at Pakenham.

“She’s taken a while to come up this preparation, full stop, which is why we found ourselves only breaking our maiden three weeks ago,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“But she’s finally come to hand and I’m happy with the way she’s going.”

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