Fantasy Belle again has to overcome a wide alley, but trainer Graeme Murray believes the mare has never raced better heading into the Moruya Country Showcase meeting on Friday.
Murray will rely on four horses with Fantasy Belle ($6 on TAB fixed odds) and Termele ($21) the best of his quartet, while maiden galloper Direct Default ($9.50) is close to breaking through after placings at his past two starts.
Fantasy Belle, a homebred mare by Danerich from Scores, found her way to the lead for a determined victory at Goulburn. The five-year-old has again found herself in the outside alley and Murray is likely to adopt similar tactics to last time.
“We decided to go forward and find the front last time and she fought on really well,” he said. “It looks like we may have to do the same again.”
Jockey Jon Grisedale has been aboard in her past two wins with her previous taking place at Moruya in July.
Murray is pleased to see Fantasy Belle doing well for her owners who also raced Scores – a winner of one race at the 2009 Albury Cup carnival.
The form line from Fantasy Belle’s last win reads well with Funky Music (second) winning his next start at Canberra. Fantasy Belle faces a tougher test against the likes of the in-form Treasure Boss ($4.80 equal favourite) who has won twice and finished second as many times from his past four starts.
Meanwhile, Murray’s other main hope, Termele, could get under the guard of some when she races second-up from a spell in the Open Handicap (1010m). Termele boasts a strong second-up record of three wins from five starts. The topweight, Green Sweet ($12), will carry a huge 65kg at his first start for several weeks.
Talented mares Lucy Rose ($3.90), Clipper ($2.90 fav) and Leami Astray ($4) are poised for an intriguing battle in the final race. Clipper is first-up from a break and has Metropolitan class form on her side, while Lucy Rose is extremely fast and will take no end of beating. Leami Astray has the benefit of recent racing over her main rivals.
Meanwhile, there are only six starters in the opening race, but plenty of interest with Dubbo Cup winner, Disturbance ($6), up against last Saturday’s Kembla Grange winner, Budderoo Knight ($4.40). Budderoo Knight led all of the way last week and from barrier one will adopt his usual tactics.