A trouble free run saw Merriest at her best in Saturday’s Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Merriest (pink) edged Whispering Brook to win the Atlantic Jewel Stakes. Photo: Darryl Sherer
“She had no luck at Caulfield first-up and Damien (Oliver) was able to get her up on the pace today,” trainer Danny O’Brien said after Merriest ($26) wore down the hitherto unbeaten Whispering Brook ($5.50) to score by a short head.
“She showed plenty of fight and she will improve off this. She didn’t get much of a go at them first-up so this will tidy her up and bring her on.”
O’Brien said he feels Merriest, a daughter of Denman, can extend out in distance.
“She can settle and relaxes well so we’ll try her at 1400 (metres) in the Guineas Prelude and that will give us a good idea if she can get further,” O’Brien said.
“If she shows she can get the trip then the Thousand Guineas is a nice race for her.”
Damien Oliver said Merriest travelled strongly for him all the way.
“She settled nice and found plenty for me. The second filly dug deep but we just did enough.” Oliver said.
Sweet Sherry ($11 – $9) ran on from midfield for third, beaten 1-1/4 lengths.