Six weeks after contesting the Gr.1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide, three-year-old Selica (NZ) (Makfi) is set to compete over a much shorter distance at Moonee Valley.
The Phillip Stokes-trained filly finished eighth in the Oaks at Morphettville on May 2 and drops to 1200m in Saturday’s Drummond Golf Handicap against her own age and sex.
Saturday’s race is a heat of the Rivette Series, with the final over 1400m at Flemington on July 4 a late-season target for Selica.
“She’s had a bit of a freshen up with the idea of running in the Rivette Series,” Stokes said.
“There’s the 1400-metre race after this that we’re aiming her for.
“I think she might find the 1200 metres a bit short but we’re just trying to qualify her for that (Rivette Series Final).
“She’ll be running on hard late, it’s just a matter of she doesn’t give them too big a start.”
Selica finished fourth in the Gr.3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at The Valley earlier this year before continuing her Oaks campaign in Adelaide which included a second placing in one of the main lead-ups, the Gr.3 Auraria Stakes (1800m).
“In the Oaks she drew wide and had to go forward,” Stokes said.
“She led them up which was not ideal. I’m not convinced she ran the trip out.”
Stokes has several acceptors for Saturday’s meeting and believes three-year-old gelding Sansom (NZ) (Charm Spirit) can prove hard to beat first-up in the Ranvet Handicap (1000m) for which he was second favourite at $4.40 on Thursday.
A winner of six of his 11 starts, Sansom has not raced since March.
“He’s a super consistent horse,” Stokes said.
“He’s had a jump-out going into this which was good and he’ll give a good sight.
“I think he will run really well and More Than Exceed has really freshened up and looks to be in a good place, too.”
More Than Exceed (NZ) (More Than Ready) runs in the Sweeney Real Estate Agents Handicap (1200m).