Co-trainer Dan Pearce has cautioned punters to be wary of a first-up victory for Angelic Ruler when she kicks off her interstate campaign at Caulfield on Saturday.
Angelic Ruler, who lines up in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m), is back in Melbourne for a another crack after running top races last February and March.
The Universal Ruler mare ran second in the G2 Armansco Stakes (1400m), third in the G2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) and second in the G3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m).
Angelic Ruler has drawn barrier four and will be ridden for the first time by Dean Yendall. She is $14 in Tabtouch markets behind hot $2.05 favourite Pippie.
The John and Chris Meagher-trained mare is seeking to extend her unbeaten campaign to four after she claimed the G3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last month.
Pearce, who prepares Angelic Ruler alongside brother Ben, is confident she will make her presence felt in Melbourne, but believes she may be vulnerable first-up.
“It was disappointing not to come home with a picture on the wall last time she was here, but she ran some really brave races,” Pearce said on Tabradio.
“And the form out of those races has stacked up.
“We’re excited to get her back over here again.
“We are first-up and there are horses who have been racing and are in form at 1200m.
“She’s in great order, but whether 1200m first-up against race-fit horses is going to be her race at the start of her preparation.
“We’re looking at going to 1400m and stretching her out to 1600m.
“Whether Saturday’s her race is probably the question.
“But she is going well and is in great order.
“We would like to see her kicking off her campaign well and if she is running into the money we would be rapt.”
Meanwhile Joyrize, Next Stop The Moon and Father Knick represent the Pearce stable at Belmont on Saturday
Joyrize, to contest the Engine Room Espresso Plate (1000m), ran three consecutive seconds in her two-year-old season.
Off one trial she meets a small but select field that includes Drinkwhatyoulike, Miss West Coast and Mia Dolce.
“She is going really well and is as consistent as anything,” Pearce said.
“She’s unlucky not to have won one.”
Next Stop The Moon has two wins and three thirds from is past five attempts. He jumps from barrier eight and will be in the hands of in-form apprentice, Jade McNaught.
The on-pace six-year-old backs up quickly from his third to Heavenly Affair last week.
“Last time he backed up he won,” Pearce said.
“He’s really in consistent form and in great order.”
Joyrize is on the third line of betting at $3.60.
Next Stop The Moon is the $3.30 favourite for the Glenn Money 80th Birthday Handicap (1400m).