It will be hard to go past High Conviction in the TABtouch Plate (1000m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The Snitzel filly presents a compelling case: she is coming off a smart maiden win, will ridden by, Paul Harvey and is prepared by the master of juveniles this season, Simon Miller.
Whispering Brook headlined a stellar cast for Miller, completing a clean sweep of her five races, culminating with victory in the Karrakatta Plate (1200m)-Sires’ Produce Stakes double in March.
Miller rates High Conviction as his best two-year-old behind Whispering Brook, a ringing endorsement after her Karrakatta Plate ambitions were dealt a terminal blow on debut.
After a calamitous beginning when her saddle shifted soon after the start, jockey, Jason Brown, lost a stirrup iron and was forced to ease High Conviction out of the race.
The promising juvenile cast aside her Karrakatta Plate disappointment and vindicated Miller’s faith when she stormed back to post a dominant victory at Belmont on June 1.
She bolted in by 2 ½ lengths, defeating Orange Strudel and Ragazzo D’Oro, after she sat outside of the pacesetter and dashed to the lead inside the final 200m.
“It was a dominant win first-up and she ran the fastest last 600m for the whole day with the handbrake on, so for a two-year-old to do that she obviously possesses a lot of quality,” Miller said on TABradio.
“I think she will get further, but just at the moment another 1000m looks like a nice second run for her this time in.”
High Conviction confronts a field of eight rivals with Dainty Tess and Next Generation looming as her toughest opposition.
Dainty Tess posted two consecutive wins and was denied a hat trick when beaten a head by Stored Energy two weeks ago.
Next Generation sailed along the fence to break his maiden status in style and ran a half-length third to Minus Looks, who looks a smart type for trainer, Steve Wolfe.
“I think it’s going to be a good race,” Miller said.
“Next Generation won a Saturday race this time in.
“It’s a nice form race and gives us a gauge on where we are at.”
William Pike will ride, Dainty Tess, trained by, Danny Morton, from barrier one with Steven Parnham and Next Generation, prepared by his father, Neville, to start on her outside in gate two.
Miller believes High Conviction, who has drawn barrier eight, shapes as an Ascot carnival horse later in the year, the fillies and mares series her primary targets.
“She might have one more run before I aim her for some of the bigger ones,” Miller said.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli