It's not very often a trainer leaves the track in an upbeat mood after one of his horses finishes 11th.
That was the case for Bendigo trainer Josh Julius after his mare Super Girl ran 11th in Saturday's Group Three MRC Foundation Cup at Caulfield.
While it wasn't the top five finish Julius wanted in terms of improving the mare's rating, it was a run full of merit and he'll push on with plans to try and qualify the six-year-old for the Melbourne Cup.
Super Girl had little go right in the run, but made ground in the home straight to finish just five lengths behind the Lloyd Williams-raced Orderofthegarter, who is now the favourite for the Group One Caulfield Cup.
"It's a different gravy playing against these boys, but she acquitted herself really well,'' Julius said.
"Things didn't go to plan early...we really wanted to settle midfield, but we were forced back to second-last.
"She worked to the line really in the fashion of a stayer that we know she is.
"To wind up and hit the line over 2000m third up from a spell is really encouraging.
"I don't think I'll ever leave the races feeling as good about an 11th as I have today."
Julius did receive a scare when Super Girl returned to the mounting yard with blood flowing from a laceration on her front leg.
"It was a minor wound, but there was quite a bit of claret there,'' he said.
"I don't think it's serious, but it's in a tricky spot, so we'll see how it goes over the next couple of days."
Super Girl was tightened for room just before the post on Saturday and that's likely where she suffered the laceration.
Julius will push on with Super Girl to the Bart Cummings (2500m) on October 3 where the winner gains automatic entry to the Melbourne Cup.
"On her run today you can't help but think she'll be very competitive," he said.
"She looked well in the yard today, but there's still improvement to come in her coat.
"The timing of the Bart Cummings is perfect, we've just got to hope she gets a run in the race.
"If she doesn't get a run there we'll probably have to look at a 2400m race over the Caulfield carnival or we'd have to change our tactics and look at the Geelong Cup, the Moonee Valley Cup or the Bendigo Cup."
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