Danny O’Brien is happy to pit VRC Oaks favourite Miami Bound against the colts and geldings in the Group Three Caulfield Classic and the trainer is expecting the filly to relish racing over 2000m for the first time.
Miami Bound is the only filly in Saturday’s $350,000 race for three-year-olds, with O’Brien opting to run her in that event over the $200,000 Group Three Ethereal Stakes for three-year-old fillies over the same distance later in the program.
“Miami Bound is taking on the boys in the Caulfield Classic but we’ve got a high opinion of her,” O’Brien said.
By Reliable Man out of 2007 VRC Oaks winner Arapaho Miss, Miami Bound won her first two starts this preparation at Bendigo before finishing third when $2.90 favourite in the Group Two Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
“We probably got it a bit wrong the other day, tactically,” O’Brien said.
“We asked her to be closer than she probably appreciates because she drew in and the pattern was a bit on-speed.
“We made her do it early which left her a bit soft late.
“But she got good fitness improvement out of that and we’ve always thought the further she goes the better she will be.
“She steps out to 2000 metres on Saturday and we expect her to be running really well.
“Her spring has always been built around the Oaks so every little step has been about having her at her top on Oaks day.”
Miami Bound, to be ridden by Damien Oliver, was the $2.80 favourite on Thursday ahead of last-start Listed Super Impose Stakes winner Warning and the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt Thought Of That at $4.40.
O’Brien has Atame running in the Ethereal with the filly coming off a maiden win over 1600m at Ballarat.
“She’s lightly raced and is still probably more of an autumn filly but you’ve got to try them at this time of year to know where they’re at,” he said.
“The Ethereal will give us a guide.”