BENDIGO trainer Rod Symons will consider another trip to town with his smart filly Kaniva following her impressive second behind Aquagirl at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
The three-year-old showed plenty of potential at only her second race start by taking on a solid field over the 1000m distance at benchmark 70 level.
Kaniva finished less than two-lengths behind the more experienced Aquagirl, but was clearly the best performed of the beaten brigade.
There were plenty of encouraging signs for Symons, with the filly, who was ridden by Patrick Moloney, sticking to the task late in the race after Aquagirl opened up a break on Kaniva on the turn into the short Moonee Valley straight.
"(Aquagirl) is a more seasoned campaigner ... we wanted to be travelling along a bit quicker because she used up some of her speed and she has speed to burn," he said.
"When that horse (Aquagirl) took off on the turn, she got a bit lost and went off the bit and I was thinking that horse knows what it's doing and we're just learning.
"Maybe when she's a bit more seasoned the story will be different.
"There was some handy horses in there, so to beat the rest of them home was a good effort. It's probably as much as you would expect jumping up to such a grade so quickly.
"Even with a bit of improvement she is quite exciting and with even more improvement you don't know what's to come.
"I thought there was an obvious improvement in her and she showed us it there was."
Kaniva, by the Group 2-winning sire Kuroshio out of Lascelles, was following up on her impressive win on debut at Kyneton earlier in the month.
Her first two starts have been cause for much excitement among the filly's large ownership group, many of them first-timers with ties to the Golden Square Football Netball Club and the National Bank.
Symons said he would give some thought to backing up in a three-year-old benchmark 64 over 1200m at Moonee Valley next Friday.
"It is a very quick back-up and I'm not sure I want to do that to her," he said.
"There's a few races there for her, but they are a bit hard to find when we are trying to keep her in that three-year-old fillies company.
"And we'd like to keep over the shorter trip as she has speed to burn."
Kaniva's older sister Kiata will have her next start at Bendigo on Tuesday in a 1100m benchmark 64 event.
The four-year-old mare has progressed well following her third in a benchmark 70 fillies and mares event at Sandown earlier this month and will start as one of the favourites alongside the smart Kym Hann-trained four-year-old Rogue Star.
Symons said he was hopeful of a big effort.
"There was a race at Sandown we had her entered in but we decided not to go there, and a horse she's beaten home twice Quesadilla won it easily," he said.
"She'll be really competitive, her work has been really good.
"We're expecting a big performance."
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