IT'S not every day a Bendigo trainer has the opportunity to saddle up a Group 1 starter, but Shane Fliedner plans on making the most of his.
Fliedner has the exciting young filly St Edward's Crown lining up in the $1 million Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on Saturday, and while she is not among the favourites in betting, her trainer is confident she can run a bold race.
Whatever the outcome, Fliedner said it was a nice feeling just to be in a big race.
"It might be nicer if you were in the top three or four in the market, but anyhow, we are in it and hopefully we defy what everyone else thinks," he said.
"I we can run a place, or in the first five we will be absolutely rapt and with a bit of luck we might be able to do that.
"She would be there if there if she wasn't in the best shape possible."
A Flemington winner at her third start back in June, St Edward's Crown, to be ridden by Damien Thornton, has had three starts this preparation with reasonable success.
She finished third first-up at Moonee Valley in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) behind the James Cummings-trained Exhilarates, before a fast-finishing fifth in the Listed Cap D'Antibes Stakes at Flemington.
A last start eighth in the Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m), when she finished 2.8 lengths from the winner, was encouragement enough for Fliedner to test the Epaulette/Patina filly at Group 1 level.
"We drew poorly at the barrier, 10 of 11 (runners), but sometimes an outside gate might be an advantage for us. had we drawn in, we might have been a long way back with a lot of horses around us," he said.
"We might go a bit more forward drawing out there. She likes to have a bit of room.
"She wasn't far away (last start). Because she drew a good gate, she travelled a bit closer, but got pushed back mid-race and had to go a little bit earlier than we wanted to. She had to make her run probably 700m out and her run peaked at about the 200.
"Hopefully if we can leave the run to a little bit later this time and have her peaking at the finish, we might finish close."
Yet to win a Group 1 in 13 previous attempts, Fliedner was proud all his previous runners had put together 'very competitive' performances.
Fliedner's week got off to a winning start with the victory of emerging stayer Queen Guinevere at Benalla on Monday.
He credited a change in tactics as crucial in the mare's 2049m win, the second of her career from 10 starts.
"We were able to have a bit more patience and it paid off," he said.
"She's a horse who's bred to get over quite a bit of distance - she's certainly bred to be a two-mile horse.
"Maybe as we step in distance she will go on with it and become a really nice horse."
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