FLIRTINI OUT TO DEFEND COLONEL REEVES STAKES CROWN

12
Nov

Quality mare Flirtini returns to racing at Ascot on Saturday in a bid to defend her title in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).

Flirtini beat home The Celt and Profit Street and won by a half length after unleashing an explosive turn of foot from near last.

After her previous win in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m), it completed a feature double for the daughter of Artie Schiller.

Miller told Tabradio that Flirtini was in as good a shape as 12-months ago.

“She is going equally as good as 12-months ago,” Miller said.

“She went to another level in the Prince Of Wales and Colonel Reeves.

“I’m just rapt that she has drawn a gate.

“She probably gets a good run in transit.”

The Colonel Reeves Stakes has attracted a field of 14 runners; Flirtini has drawn barrier three and will be in the hands of Paul Harvey.

Harvey and Flirtini have proved a successful combination and reunite after last year’s success in the Colonel Reeves Stakes and Prince Of Wales Stakes.

Miller was delighted to acquire the services of the champion rider.

“I think Pont (Harvey) suits her and getting him back on is probably a big key as well,” Miller said.

Flirtini has not raced since the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) in May when she finished outside of the placings behind Perfect Jewel.

Miller said Flirtini’s fitness base had improved after two warm up trials.

“She has back on track and purring along,” Miller said.

“The times were quick and she strips fitter.

“She is ready to go for Saturday.”

Miller’s Colonel Reeves assault is bolstered with Valour Road also a major player after his brilliant win in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) two weeks ago.

Chloe Azzopardi retains the ride and steers the five-year-old from barrier 12.

“It’s a bit of a tricky gate and where he gets to I’m not sure,” Miller said.

“But he did a power of work the other day and won.

“The extra 100 metres will be right up his alley.”

The TAB can’t split Flirtini and Valour Road, both are at $7.50.

Indian Pacific, trained by Neville Parnham, the firming $3.90 favourite.

“I think Neville’s one is the one to beat,” Miller said.

“He’s an up and comer that goes to war when he goes out there.

“He doesn’t put a foot wrong.”

Meanwhile Brave Angel will try and follow in the footsteps of Miss Rose De Lago, who won the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) for Miller seven years ago.

The Tavistock filly faces an acid after winning a Northam maiden (1500m), but Miller says she will appreciate stepping up to a mile.

“She’s a really nice filly going places, but she’s up in grade,” Miller said.

“One thing I do know she will appreciate that extra 100 metres.

“She’s a ripper of a filly, has done a super job and is building momentum.

“She drawn a gate where she can let the speed go and salvage the line late.

“It will be interesting to see where she is at against a few of them.

“She is going there fit and healthy.”

Brave Angel is a $15 chance and from barrier seven Pat Carbery picks up the ride.

Julio Santarelli