In-form mare Princess Elle could earn herself a trip to Sydney for her next assignment if she can maintain her unbeaten record for her new trainer Jason Reilly at Grafton on Tuesday.
Formerly trained at Murwillumbah by Matt Dunn for her first four career starts, Princess Elle has won her only two outings - both at Grafton - since joining the Reilly stable. The five-year-old daughter of Toorak Toff is out to maintain that perfect record when she tackles Tuesday's The Daily Examiner Benchmark 58 Hcp (1015m).
Princess Elle won first-up for Reilly at Grafton on September 1, comfortably landing a Class 1 over 1006m at the juicy odds of $16, then won again at her most recent outing at Grafton on September 23, taking out a Benchmark 58 Hcp over 1106m.
"She has been a bit of surprise packet and has just continued to improve," said the Grafton-based Reilly. "She did surprise me a bit when she won first-up. I was initially just going to barrier trial her that week, but when that meeting received full TAB prizemoney after the Lismore meeting was abandoned (on August 28) I thought she may as well run in the Grafton race.
"Her trackwork prior to her past two wins was only average, but on her gallop last week. I'd say she's going into Tuesday's race the best she's been since I've had her.
"And she's drawn the inside gate and with the rail out that will help her. I certainly respect (rival) She's Choosie, and my mare has gone up in weight (to 60.5kg) and has to step up a notch again on Tuesday, but I'm confident she can."
The rail on Tuesday will be out 4.5m from 1200m to the winning post, and 3m from the winning post to the 1200m. The track on Monday was rated a soft 5.
Princess Elle is raced on lease by Reilly and a group of mainly first-time owners who are having a great run with their first foray into ownership. The mare won on debut for the Dunn stable back in January, winning a Murwillumbah Maiden over 1200m, but was unplaced in three subsequent runs over 1200m, 1400m and 1530m.
"After her debut win at Murwillumbah in January, she struck a couple of really wet tracks and also stepped up in distance, but I think she's really at her best around 1000m to 1100m," said Reilly. "If she wins again on Tuesday I'm looking at a suitable midweek race over 1000m at Warwick Farm for her next run in a couple of weeks."
As Reilly indicated, fellow Grafton mare She's Choosie looks one of Princess Elle's toughest rivals on Tuesday. The Greg Kilner-trained She's Choosie's only defeat in three runs at Grafton was her close second to Vernazza in the $45,000 NBN Springboard To Fame 2YO Plate (1200m) at the Grafton Cup meeting on July 12.
She's Choosie has won her only two starts at the track and distance. The Choisir filly also drew ideally in gate 4 and will carry 59kg in Tuesday's race after apprentice Leah Kilner's 2kg allowance.