Loving Gaby has yet to step out at the races this spring but her connections have their sights on a feature race later in the carnival for the dual Group One-placed filly.
With races such as the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 12 coming up too soon for Loving Gaby, the stable is aiming her at the Group One Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) on November 2 at Flemington.
The Empire Rose is run at weight-for-age for fillies and mares and three-year-olds have won two of the past three years, with I Am A Star successful in 2016 before Shoals’ victory the following year.
“We thought that would be her race,” co-trainer David Eustace said.
“She has run a mile. Three-year-old fillies in that race have obviously got a good record so we just identified that as a Group One race she can win, having missed the Guineas.”
Loving Gaby contested four of the five Group One races for two-year-olds in Australia last season, finishing sixth in the Blue Diamond before her fourth in the Golden Slipper and seconds in both the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes.
After that autumn campaign, which included a Group Three win in the Chairman’s Stakes on debut in February, Eustace said the filly had taken time to come to hand this preparation.
Loving Gaby was taken to The Valley to gallop on Monday morning and is nominated for Saturday’s Group Three Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at the same track.
While that is an option connections are likely to wait a bit longer before launching her campaign.
“She looked to work really nicely but we still feel she’s a couple of weeks off really peaking,” Eustace said.
Eustace said stakes-placed Charleise, winner of a maiden at Geelong at her first start of this campaign on September 15, was set to run in the Scarborough after also working at The Valley on Monday.
“She worked very nicely,” Eustace said.