Talented filly Showy Chloe heads into unchartered waters when she resumes in the WATC Derby Day-April 16 Handicap (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The Alfred Nobel filly avoids elite company after seven career starts and returns from a spell without the benefit of a lead in trial.
As a two-year-old Showy Chloe won the Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and placed in the Supremacy Stakes (1100m), Gimcrack Stakes (1100m) and Karrakatta Plate (1200m).
In her three-year-old season she ran a bold second to Blackwood in the Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) after landing in the unfamiliar role of pacesetter.
A fourth in the Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and a last placing in the WA Guineas (1600m) the only occasions she has finished out of the money.
Trainer, Jason Pateman, has previously given Showy Chloe two trial hit outs before resuming, but has adopted a change of tactics.
“The set of trials ahead of her first preparation were more for educational purposes,” Pateman said.
“The second time around it was to have her race fit for the Belgravia Stakes.
“Her first start was a beauty when she ran on from last in a black type race.
“First up last time she had two trials and won both of them.
“She then went into a Belgravia and met a red-hot field.
“You were talking about Perfect Reflection, Arcadia Dream, Blackwood and Man Booker who won a Guineas.
“You hope you don’t go in underdone without a trial, but I’m not concerned.
“She is showing me all the right signs and I’m looking forward to bringing her back.”
Showy Chloe runs into a competitive line-up including Le Patron, Patrimonio and explosive Bunbury sprinter, Just Act Natural.
The Natural Blitz three-year-old looks a promising type for trainer Paul Roberts and is aiming for his fourth consecutive win.
“He burns up the track and has a bit of pace at both ends which you like in a horse,” Pateman said.
Showy Chloe will carry 56.5kg for in-form apprentice, Clint Johnston Porter. He replaces regular rider, Jarrad Noske, who has opted to stick with Forty Four Red.
Just Act Natural, who heads the weights at 59kg, has drawn the widest gate, but has the speed to cross the field and lead.
He will be in the hands of jockey, Glenn Smith. In a field off 11 starters, Showy Chloe, will jump from barrier eight.
“I’m glad she has another bad barrier,” Pateman said.
“She finally drew a good one in the Guineas and got into strife.
“If we can get in to the three-deep line with cover I’ll be happy.”
Just Act Natural is the TAB’s $2.30 favourite. Showy Chloe is next at $5.00.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli