By Julieanne Horsman
Young Armidale trainer, Stirling Osland, is hoping his decision to forgo a run in yesterday’s Grafton Guineas in favour of today’s Mother’s Gift will pay off for his talented filly, Prada Miss.
The three-year-old resumes in the 1400m race at Grafton today and has been installed as the $3.20 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds.
She was due to race at Tamworth a fortnight ago but the meeting was washed out, forcing Osland to rethink his plans.
“The Grafton Guineas was the target this prep but when she missed the run at Tamworth, I decided to pull her back because I didn’t want to send her into a 1600m race first up,” Osland said.
Prada Miss boasts a record of three wins and two places from nine starts, including a second to Candika in the Listed Mandate Princess Stakes at Doomben in April.
In her most recent run before a spell she finished a disappointing 13th in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes but Osland says it should be forgiven and forgotten. “She was caught wide in a large field and dropping back to 1350m didn’t suit her,” he said. “She was never in the race.”
Today’s conditions are much more favourable. Prada Miss has drawn ideally in barrier 2, will only carry 54kg and has regular jockey Ben Looker aboard who has piloted her to victory at the Grafton track before.
"She is going great at the moment," he said.
“Two or three of the horses look to have genuine speed.
“Prada Miss should be able to come out and get a nice run along the rails."
Osland broke in and pre-trained Prada Miss at the start of her career before she joined Chris Waller’s Sydney stables. After a handful of mediocre trials, her owners decided she would be better suited to country racing and sent her to Osland who has managed to get the best out of her.
“She’s a lovely horse and I am pleased to be able to train her,” he said.
“Two of the owners have had her all along and some of the others bought their shares in her at a charity auction so it would be really nice to get some more wins for them.”