By Michael Guerin
Trainer Steven Reid is hoping the aggression of a rival can gift Shes No Lady a winning shot in the $120,000 Sires’ Stakes Fillies Championship at Alexandra Park tonight.
Shes No Lady has a habit of being in the right place at the right time, winning the juvenile filly of the year title last season because she won the only major fillies race staged before Covid hit.
She was also in the right place last week when she was able to lead and outsprint many of the fillies she meets tonight, including Bettor Twist, in the final heat of this series.
But she also has the motor to make the most of good fortune, with driver Zac Butcher suggesting to Reid after last Friday’s win he has now a very good filly on his hands.
What does worry Reid is barrier one on the second line, which could led to a perfect trail or being pushed back. That is where Reid hopes aggressive driver Andre Poutama inadvertently helps.
Poutama trains and drives Ideal Sports Girl who has drawn the ace, meaning She No Lady follows her out from the mile start point. Last week Ideal Sports Girl showed great speed before Shes No Lady wrested that back off her and Poutama is a driver rarely scared to roll the dice.
“Andre knows how to rate them in front and I am sure his filly has the speed to lead,” explains Reid.
“So then our fate might be in his hands a little. If he stays in front and runs a long then I think our filly has a real chance.
“But if he chooses to take a trail, which of course he has every right to do, then we might be giving some good horses a start from three back.”
Those good horses Reid refers to are all from the Purdon/Rasmussen stable with Darling Me, Bettor Twist and What’s Your Secret all impressive here last Friday.
The All Stars rate Bettor Twist their tougher filly but Darling Me the more brilliant at this stage and if the latter can run to the front early from barrier seven then she will probably win on a track where her mother Adore Me starred so often.
But if the front liners burn too hard early then the race will set up for Bettor Twist and/or Shes No Lady.
Reid’s other big chance tonight in Star Galleria also faces what looks a bad draw in the main pace on all mile night but it should prove irrelevant.
The former Auckland Cup placegetter only faces five rivals in race nine and should be able to cross them at the start because he is so quick off the gate. From there he should win.
“Toddy (Mitchell) is back driving him because I tore my hamstring and I won’t give him exact instructions but I’d expect him to be able to cross if he wants to.”
Star Galleria is likely having his last start in New Zealand tonight as he is booked to fly to Sydney in 10 days to join the all-conquering Craig Cross stable, where the mainly mobile mile racing should suit him.
While mile racing at Alexandra Park, with its short run to the first bend, would seem to set up for those drawn well that hasn’t been the case at the all-mile nights staged over the last 18 months, with horses able to overcome all sorts of draws.
That could also be the case in the open trot where Credit Master has drawn the outside of the front line but looked very happy bolting in here last week on a track that used to trip him up. — Courtesy of NZ Herald