Trainer Todd Harvey admits he has thrown promising galloper Ponyo into the deep end in the $100,000 Crown Perth 3YO Classic (1000m) at Ascot.
The daughter of Your Song was an impressive 1100m winner on debut at Ascot in April when she won by a decisive margin over Cold Shizzle and Buzzoom.
Although in mid-week company, Ponyo’s ability to burst out of the gates and control the race from the front under Kyra Yuill, suggests Harvey might have a handy filly on his hands.
Ponyo hasn’t raced for six months, but showed she was in fine fettle for her return after completing two warm up trials over 400m and 1000m respectively.
A $40,000 buy from the Magic Millions Perth yearling sale, Ponyo will face a quality group of 12 rivals on Saturday, headed by race favourite, Arcadia Grace.
As she begins her countdown to potentially major three-year-old races in the next couple of months, Harvey says Ponyo deserves to have a crack.
“It’s an acid test for her, but it will give me a guide on where she is at,” Harvey told The Races WA.
“If she is up to it we can plan on bigger races, if not we go back and set our sights lower.
“But I think she is a filly with a fair amount of ability.
“It was either this race or a class three against older horses next week.
“What swayed me was her barrier draw where she can get a soft run and her light weight.
“From that position she shouldn’t have a hard run.
“Ideally, I would have liked another run under her belt, but she’s had two solid trials.
“She had a big blow after her last 1000m trial and has come on since, she’ll benefit from that.
“It’s a good opportunity to see where she is at.
“It’s a quality line up, but I think she can make an impact.”
Ponyo has drawn barrier three and will be ridden by Jade McNaught at 53kg.
In current Tabtouch markets she is $16 after as much as $23 was on offer when markets opened on Wednesday.
Arcadia Prince is $3.10, Spin The Knife $4, Pat’s Got Sass $7.50 and Ruthless Tycoon $9.50.