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Curtis Hoping Giselle Can Shake Maiden Monkey Off Her Back

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Lee Curtis admits he didn’t think Giselle Anne would make it to 10 starts without winning a race but is confident the filly isn’t far away from a breakthrough.

Bouyed a little by the win last week of the Mark Newnham-trained Canyonero at his 16th start, Curtis hopes things pan out in Giselle Anne’s favour at her 11th in the Lander Toyota Plate (1300m) at Hawkesbury on Wednesday.

So far in her 10 starts the three-year-old has recorded four placings, one of them in Saturday city class, and was been beaten 0.7 lengths in a Group 3 back in February, but in five starts this season has bumped into a number of horses on the rise.

“You get that every now and then, a horse that keeps knocking on the door,’’ Curtis said.

“This preparation we’ve been trying to win a maiden but she’s run into some good ones.

“I think with these two and three-year-olds there’s not a big gap between running in a maiden and in a city class race or even a stakes race.’’

Curtis says what’s playing against Giselle Anne is her size, at 460kg she’s hardly imposing, but he has noticed her starting to strengthen up.

She’s also an on-pacer and that leaves her vulnerable at times, something that was evident when beaten as a $1.40 favourite by a promising type in Darleb at Wyong last start, and that’s part of the reason he’s edging her out in distance.

Giselle Anne runs second at Wyong on October 20

“Chris Williams said last time he was quite happy then a horse came up and eyeballed,’’ Curtis said.

“If she runs in the race minus that horse she looks like a champion and wins on her ear.

“The start before last Glyn (Schofield) said to me to try her over a bit of ground where she can be more in her comfort zone running along in front.

“It is a bit frustrating, the pressure would be off her if she could just get away with one. I’m confident she will get the trip, I’m happy with her and let’s hope she can do it.’’

Stablemate Pyraminx is expected to be a big improver when he has his third race start, and second this preparation, Killahy Equine Plate (1300m).

Curtis said he made a mistake leading into the three-year-old’s first-up seventh at Kembla Grange on October 26 which left him exposed when he had to endure a wide run.

“We decided not to trial him this time in and just gave him jump outs and I think we got caught out with a bit of fitness,’’ he said.

“Then he had a hard run which probably didn’t help.’’

Pyraminx attracted plenty of support first-up, firming from $6.50 to start $4.20, and after working as well as the gelding can last weekend Curtis anticipates he’ll be competitive.

“He’s not a flash worker, he’s a lovely horse but in terms of times he’s not a great track worker,’’ he said.

“He’s had the run under his belt, he had a good gallop on Saturday with blinkers on and looked strong, and I think that run will benefit him more than usual given I didn’t trial him.’’

On Tuesday, Pyraminx was a $12 chance with TAB while Giselle Anne held favouritism at $4 for her assignment.

All the fields, form and replays for Wednesday's Hawkesbury meeting

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