Co trainer Dan Pearce is confident Agent Pippa can follow in the same path as stable mate Money Maher and reassert her claims for next month’s Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m).
Money Maher cast aside two indifferent runs and breathed new life into his WA Derby (2400m) campaign when he scored a top win in last week’s Listed J.C.Roberts Stakes (1800m).
Agent Pippa is searching to bounce back and showcase the run she displayed on debut at Ascot last October when she blitzed her rivals with an all the way victory.
Her first-up performance was impressive enough to attract the attention of prominent businessman, Rod Menzies, who purchased a 50 per cent share in the filly.
Agent Pippa was flown to Melbourne to contest the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington in November, but suffered a minor setback and was scratched on the eve of the race.
Pearce believes Agent Pippa can improve after running into the might of Lady Cosmology in last Saturday week’s Supremacy Stakes (1000m).
Agent Pippa challenged Lady Cosmology in front, but the Simon Miller trained filly clicked into another gear to set a new race record.
Agent Pippa, who had Party Night on her outside to the turn, finished 2 ½ lengths third.
Pearce, who prepares Agent Pippa in combination with his brother Ben, expects Agent Pippa to strip fitter in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1100m).
“She has come through the run well and we will push on,” Pearce told Tabradio’s The Sports Daily.
“There was a lot of high speed pressure in the race with that horse (Party Night) three deep pressuring her.
“It probably just found her out over the last 100-200, so with that run under her belt we will push on.”
Nocelle headlines Dan Morton’s four-pronged attack in the Supremacy Stakes.
The unbeaten filly has slipped under the two-year-old radar since winning the Crystal Slipper Stakes (1100m) in December.
Morton, who also saddles Fairtrusive, Ribbon Of Gold and Lady Sass, said he was looking forward to the return of Nocelle.
“She has improved type wise and is a pretty nice looking filly now,” Morton said.
“She has come on a fair way and I have been really happy with her work leading in.”
Shaun O’Donnell is back on Nocelle after partnering her to victory when on debut. He replaces Chris Parnham, who has elected to ride Princess Pierro.
O’Donnell and Nocelle jump from barrier eight.
Agent Pippa has drawn barrier two for Joe Azzopardi.
Assetro is the $2.25 TAB favourite. Agent Pippa ($5), Nocelle ($7) and Bam’s On Fire ($9.50) are the only other runners under $10.