When asked if Flirtini could win the Group 3 Amelia Park Roma Cup (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday, Simon Miller’s response was emphatic.
“I was going to take her over for the Sangster Stakes in Adelaide,” the Perth trainer told The Races WA.
“I would like to think if I was going to take her over for that race she could give this a massive shake.
“That should give you an idea of how much of an opinion I have of her.”
The Sangster Stakes, a Group 1 event, was won by Bella Vella at Morphettville on May 2.
Miller’s plan for Flirtini to take on elite company was hatched at last year’s Ascot carnival when she flashed big potential.
The Artie Schiller mare won back-to-back Group 3 races in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) and Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).
She went around as one of the best local hopes in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and although beaten she wasn’t disgraced when fifth to Hey Doc.
With Covid-19 and the travel restrictions putting a stop to any thoughts of an Adelaide campaign, Miller has sought to claim feature winter sprints in Perth.
Flirtini ran a first-up third in the Marjorie Charleson Classic (1200m) and last-start she finished a distant second to star mare Fabergino in the Northam Stakes (1100m).
Fabergino started a hot favourite and was coming off a stakes win in Melbourne, but Miller had big hopes and high expectations that Flirtini could defeat the brilliant sprinter.
Despite Flirtini running on and getting as close to Fabergino as anyone in Northam Stakes, Miller was left deflated and humbled by her defeat.
“She jarred up on the hard track and felt the effects of the run, so she had excuses,” Miller said.
“But the winner is pretty good and I think she went to another level.
“I appreciated how good she is knowing how good mine is.
“I thought I could beat her over 1100m, but she went to another level.”
Miller says Flirtini has race conditions in her favour in the Roma Cup. She has drawn barrier four for regular rider, Joe Azzopardi.
Miller is confident she can bounce back to secure her sixth career victory and sail past half-a-million dollars in prize money.
“She has drawn a gate finally,” Miller said.
“She can be midfield at worst and won’t have to go as far back.
“And back up to 1200m and weight-for-age.
“There are a lot of things in her favour.”
Flirtini is a $4.60 chance with Tabtouch. She sits behind Vega Magic ($3) and Angelic Ruler ($4.20).
Man Booker ($7.50) and The Velvet King ($9.50) are also in single figures.
“Man Booker is the one,” Miller said.
“That’s our danger.”
Flirtini can add a second Roma Cup to Miller’s trophy cabinet after Power Princess won seven years ago.