Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer couldn’t be happier with the progress of smart sprinter Miss Leonidas.
The mare was sent for a break after demolishing her rivals by six lengths in a 1000m three-year-old fillies event at Moonee Valley on June 16.
Now a four-year-old mare, Miss Leonidas has flourished in the past 10 weeks and is on track to resume on Caulfield Cup day.
“She’ll trial on September 17 and then trial again on October 8 before racing at Caulfield on Cup day,’’ Dwyer said.
“She’ll most likely also have a run over the Flemington carnival on Cup Day or Oaks Day.
“The break has done her the world of good. She grew the best part of three-quarters of an inch, so her body shape is even better.
“She’s a lot more settled than she was last preparation, which I’m hoping is a good sign going forward.”
“She had four weeks in the paddock and two weeks on the water walker.
“She’s pretty fit now and is more forward than I thought she’d be.
“I could run her after the first trial she’s doing that well, and I’ll weigh that up at the time, but at this stage we’ll stick with our original plan.
“For the two races we have planned she’s going to need to be rock hard fit.
“They’re two strong races and they’ll be no loafing. Those races will show us just how good she is and we can plan for the autumn after that.”
The Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington could be Miss Leonidas’ autumn target.
A winner of three of her seven career starts, Miss Leonidas has earned connections $145,500 in stakemoney.
Veteran jockey Dwayne Dunn rode Miss Leonidas three times last campaign for two wins and one third placing and is keen to continue the partnership in the spring.
“Dwayne’s manager has been in contact to see how she (Miss Leonidas) is going,’’ Dwyer said.
“I’m hoping he sticks with her. He’s built a good rapport with her and he’s helped me through his maturity as a jockey in helping her to settle.”
With Miss Leonidas bound for Group-level sprints and a promising crop of two-year-olds in the stable, it’s an exciting time for Dwyer.
“I’m very happy with the six or seven young horses we have,’’ Dwyer said.
“They’re showing plenty on the track, particularly the Dundeel colt and Dundeel filly we have.
“Those two could go all the way.”