By Ray Hickson
There’s no doubts as far as trainer Jean Dubois is concerned that See You Soon has the ability to take her a long way and he’s pinning his hopes on a special piece of head gear to help her realise it this spring.
The three-year-old will contest the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) sporting a Dually head collar and Dubois credits it for turning around her barrier manners after she refused to load in a trial on August 4.
Dubois had used the collar, which is fitted below the standard collar brim over the horse’s nose, at home and See You Soon wore it in her eye-catching fifth in a Kensington 850m trial ten days later.
“It’s like a stallion chain but is not so hard on the horse,’’ Dubois said.
“A filly like her likes to be in control but it’s used to keep her confident and happy. I’ve used it a lot with the young ones and it’s a really good help.
“It’s put on the nose, she doesn’t like to be touched on the mouth, she’s very sensitive on the mouth, and it helps with reluctant horses to go into the barrier.
“She was bad in the first trial, she didn’t want to go close to the barrier, so I asked the stewards if I can use it and she wore it in the second trial.’’
See You Soon was competitive in each of her five starts as a two-year-old, she finished midfield in the Golden Slipper and was placed behind Away Game in the Group 2 Percy Sykes during The Championships.
She’s drawn barrier one in the Silver Shadow, where the filly was $3.40 favourite with TAB on Thursday, and Dubois is quietly confident if the Dually head collar does its job she’s there to be a force.
“She had a good trial the other day and everything looks under control,’’ he said.
“Hopefully she loads and stays in the barriers quietly because that’s been a problem with her, she’s been a bit naughty at the start.
“It’s hard to say if she’s improved, physically she’s grown a little bit and is a bit stronger but if she's better we’ll know more on Saturday.”
Remarkably, the Silver Shadow will pit See You Soon against the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Dame Giselle for the sixth time in her career and the score is 3-2 in favour of the Snowden filly. They also contested the same trial last week.
See You Soon downed Dame Giselle in the Kirkham Plate in October, when both were on debut, then the tables were turned in the $1m Golden Gift. They met again in the Reisling Stakes with the same result and were alongside each other in the Slipper with Dame Giselle seventh.
In the Percy Sykes, See You Soon snatched third from Dame Giselle. So, naturally, Dame Giselle is high in Silver Shadow betting ($3.90) and co-trainer Peter Snowden said the only thing he’s not happy with is the soft ground.
That said his filly won the Reisling on a soft 7 and Percy Sykes was run on a heavy 8.
Snowden was rapt with Dame Giselle’s recent trial behind Invictus Salute and Splintex and said she’s pretty fit heading into her assignment.
Dame Giselle runs third, See You Soon fifth in a Kensington trial
“I thought her trial was very good on ground she doesn’t really like,’’ he said.
“It was as good as I’ve ever seen her trial, the two horses in front of her are high quality horses and I thought she was going as well as them.
“She’s had a good prep with two good solid trials and is in good stead. She has some nice fitness in her and is quite forward.’’
It’s likely both fillies will progress to at least the next two legs of the Darley Princess Series – the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) in two weeks and the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 19 but whether Dame Giselle goes further out in distance remains to be seen.
“I don’t think she runs a mile, I think seven (furlongs) will pull her up but there are plenty of options for her,’’ Snowden said.
“We’ll take it one race at a time and see how her form is and where she fits in the pecking order but wed love to get her back on top of the ground.’’