HOME-bred filly Leila’s Star is one week behind in her preparation for a $70,000 two-year-old race at Warrnambool on Tuesday, but her trainer Peter Chow will have a throw at the stumps with his first starter.
The VOBIS Gold Strike race has developed into a feature flat event over the three-day carnival because of the excellent prizemoney and bonuses which are on offer for the 1000-metre sprint.
“I would have preferred if she had another week to get ready for the race but we just ran out of time,” Chow said.
“It's always a top race because of the great prizemoney and bonuses.
“It's attracted some smart horses from top Melbourne stables.
“Leila’s Star has trialled well at Warrnambool, Hamilton and had two strong gallops at Camperdown.
“I must admit I'm a bit concerned about barrier 14 but it's what it is.
“We can’t win if we’re sitting in the stables at home.”
The 50-year-old dairy farmer, who has five horses in work, said a Leila’s Star win would be very special.
“Leila’s Star is the sixth horse we've bred from her dam Martina Star,” the Warrnambool-based trainer said.
“Five of her progeny have won races, including Lord Tennyson, Starshot and Doubtless Star.
“Leila’s Star is the first filly. We decided to send Martina Star to Bel Esprit because he's been a great bread and butter stallion for many years and he was reasonably priced. We lost Martina Star when giving birth to a Written Tycoon colt.
“It was a real shame because Martina Star helped set up my training career.”
Early favourite for the VOBIS Gold Strike is the Henry Dwyer trained Je Suis Tycoon. The daughter of Written Tycoon failed last time over 1200 metres at Caulfield and should appreciate the drop back to 1000 metres.
All runners are racing for the first prize pool of $38,500 plus a nominators bonus of $7000 and a $23,000 owners bonus under the Super VOBIS scheme.
Chow’s other runner on the first day is Irish Moshe, who will be ridden by top jockey Damian Lane, in a maiden over 1200 metres. Bookies have installed Irish Moshe as a $6.50 chance.