Trainer Simon Miller is confident Flirtini can validate Ascot carnival aspirations in the D’Orsogna Plate (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday.

Flirtini scored an impressive victory on debut over 1000m two weeks back and Miller believes the promising filly will be hard to beat again.

“From behind the scenes she has gone on with it after that run, so that’s exciting from the stables point of view,” Miller told Tabradio.

“She is on an upward spiral and the extra distance should suit her as well.

“The tempo will probably not be as strong and she will be able to travel a lot easier.

“That will afford her the opportunity to let rip with her brilliant turn of foot.

“It’s another nice race again for her.

“From there we will figure what part she will play in the carnival.

“She will definitely be a contender whichever way we go, short course or Champion Fillies way.

“She has always shown ability behind the scenes and we now get an opportunity to unleash on race day.”

Flirtini, a $150,000 yearling, meets a field of seven starters for her second run.  The daughter of Artie Schiller has drawn barrier six and William Pike retains the ride.

Flirtini heads TAB markets at $1.70.

Meanwhile Miller concedes Oliver’s Travels faces a hard task to win the weight-for-age Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m).

Miller says Oliver’s Travels will have to rebound strongly after he ran a poor eighth to Super Maxi in last Saturday week’s Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m).

It was a performance completely out of character for Oliver’s Travels and the first time he missed a top three finish since he entered Miller’s stable.

Miller believes he may have gone soft on Oliver’s Travels in the lead-up to his first-up run in the Belmont Newmarket and has since poured the work into him.

“We will give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is a hard race because it’s weight-for-age and he is up against the big guns and not afforded the weight relief,” Miller said.

“I have stepped up his work a little bit behind the scenes to see if that can help him.

“It will be tough tomorrow (Saturday), but I’m hoping to use this as a stepping stone to another race.

“As long as I see him hitting the line against the likes of Pounamu I will be happy.”
Julio Santarelli