Lark Hill trainer Paige Kenney will adopt a change of tactics in a bid to rejuvenate Ainia in the WAPTRA Honour’s Keith Jeffries Handicap (1400m).
The Oratorio four-year-old has failed to replicate the form she displayed in New South Wales that had her finish top three in nine of 14 starts.
She contested two Belmont mid-week races but failed to flatter when fifth to Scenic Grin and second-last to Long Knife.
Kenney says she is still feeling her way with Ainia but remains quietly confident she can improve against good opposition at Pinjarra on Thursday.
“I haven’t had her for very long but she had very good form over east,” Kenney said.
“In most of her runs she has led or gone forward to sit outside of the leader.
“She will go forward on Thursday and be ridden up on the speed.
“She has brilliant gate speed and it will be a shame not to use it.
“She doesn’t have a brilliant sprint but if she can be up there and show a bit of toughness she is in with a chance.”
Ainia can maximise her gate speed when she jumps from barrier six for jockey Takahide Ikenushi.
Her biggest threat will likely come from last-start winner Surpark and Sandpipers who resumes without blinkers.
Nozomi’s Lover also has legitimate claims and can’t be dismissed after he posted successive wins at Pinjarra in June.
Meanwhile, Kenney has aborted staying plans for Need A Lift who failed at her first attempt over a mile at Belmont.
The Passenger mare faded to 10th of 12 behind the Justin Warwick-trained Rive Gauche who led over 2100m on Saturday.
“These staying races at Belmont are quite weak and everyone wants to see if they have a stayer,” said Kenney.
“She did finish strongly over 1600m at her previous start so I decided to give her a try over ground.
“It’s pretty obvious she is not going to be a stayer on that performance.
“She will concentrate over distances of 1200m, 1400m and 1600m when she returns from a spell.”