Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer expects his smart mare Miss Leonidas to benefit from Sunday’s first-up placing at Caulfield.
While Dwyer was disappointed Miss Leonidas didn’t win the Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1100m), she did enough in her third placing behind the Darren Weir-trained Grey Shadow to suggest she’s on track to be competitive in black type races in the spring.
“I don’t think we can be too disappointed, it’s a tough time of the year to be winning a race,’’ Dwyer said.
As expected, Miss Leonidas showed great early speed to cross to the fence to lead.
The four-year-old mare travelled well, but she laid out for a few strides coming around the turn which cost her some momentum.
Grey Shadow pounced at the 300m mark and won nicely, but Miss Leonidas battled to the line well to be just a length behind the winner.
Dwyer will push on with his plan to run Miss Leonidas on Caulfield Cup day.
Dwyer has the choice between a 1000m Group Two race for open sprinters and a black type 1100m race for mares.
Meanwhile, Sutton Grange trainer Brent Stanley had two unplaced runners at Caulfield on Sunday.
Smart three-year-old The August produced a solid run in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
The August battled hard to the line to finish fifth behind the Darren Weir-trained Native Soldier.
Violate was well-backed in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1400m), but he was struggling on the home and turn and finished last, albeit beaten just four lengths.