Ningbo could not have been any more impressive in shedding her maiden status three weeks ago, romping away to score by six lengths from her next rival.
But trainer, Merv Dellar, has downplayed the win and says her test will be to back up in Sunday’s SRW Sheds Handicap (1300m) at Kalgoorlie on Sunday.
“I have a bit of an opinion of the filly and think she can step up to the mile, but this race will tell me where she is at,” Dellar said.
“She won well and did everything expected of her, but to be honest it wasn’t the strongest maidens and she faces a step up in class.
“The jury is still out, but this will tell me where she is at.”
Dellar fears former Perth gelding, Jingtang, who has struck imposing form under, Peter Fernie, poses the biggest threat to Ningbo.
The son of Starcraft is relishing his new environment and is desperately unlucky not to be undefeated from his two goldfields starts.
He charged home to win on Anzac Day and in a thrilling finish ran a nose second to Penalty Point after racing wide throughout.
“It was a big run and very impressive,” Dellar said.
“You don’t see those type of runs in Kalgoorlie too often.
“He will be hard to beat and is the testing material.”
Jingtang lumps top weight of 60.5kg, a rise of 0.5kg on last week’s run
In a field of nine runners he jumps from barrier five. Jordan Turner retains the ride.
Ningbo carries 7.5kg less than Jingtang. Tayla Stone partners the gelding from the second widest gate.
Ningbo and Here Comes Poppy will form a two-pronged attack for Dellar.
The latter won two starts back but couldn’t back up and ran last after getting trapped wide in running.
Dellar said the Casino Prince gelding, to be ridden by in form apprentice, Randy Tan, would need all the favours to go his way to be a legitimate winning chance.
Meanwhile Dellar says, Kronfeld, is set to kick off his campaign in the coming weeks.
The Murtajill gelding, who is approaching $100,000 in prize money, hasn’t raced since last November’s Northam Cup.
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