Todd Harvey believes his talented mare Misty Metal can take the next step and be competitive against top line sprinters in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot next month.

The speedy daughter of Oratorio came of age last campaign when she reeled off a hat trick of wins including three Listed events: the Jungle Mist (1200m), Summer Scorcher (1000m) and Scenic Blast Stakes (1100m).

Harvey, who co-trains with his father, Rob, said Misty Metal, who last raced in February, took a big step towards her race return with an impressive Lark Hill trial on Monday, her second serious hit out in the space of a week.

Under Troy Turner in heat four, Misty Metal jumped quickly, travelled strongly in the lead and raced away over the concluding under little pressure to defeat Regal Power by close to five lengths.

Harvey said Misty Metal had showed considerable improvement from last Monday’s trial.

“She showed she has come on a bit since that first trial,” Harvey told The Races WA.

“That first trial she pulled up a bit big so we decided to give her another trial.

“She certainly went well and we are really pleased with her.

“She’ll go straight to the Prince Of Wales first-up.

“She won’t be spot on, but will take improvement from her first-up run.

“She is right where we want her to be at this stage.”

The Prince Of Wales Stakes over 1000m will be run on November 2, three weeks before Misty Metal’s main target: the Winterbottom Stakes.

Harvey said it was exciting to have a horse in contention for Western Australia’s feature sprint race.

“Obviously she will have to step up a little bit more,” Harvey said.

“She is a year older and has matured and furnished out quite well.

“Perhaps there is a little bit more to take out of her to take her up to the next level.

“We are certainly hoping she can.

“It’s just exciting to have a horse of her calibre running around.”

Julio Santarelli