Quilty Not Afraid Of Strickland Challenge

27
Jun

Trainer Shane Quilty is of the philosophy you don’t die wondering and you don’t shy away from a challenge.

With that in mind he is giving Fancy Feet a shot at the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont on Saturday.

The Fath mare faces the biggest test of her 21 start career against experienced and better credentialed rivals.

But the four-year-old is not without claims and in an open race she is quoted a $7.50 chance on Tabtouch.

She is a young and progressive type who should be reaching peak fitness after four runs in including two at 2200m.

She ran a sound fourth to Ora Dare, beaten 1 ¼ lengths and was a long-neck second to Operational a week ago.

Fancy Feet, the only mare in the nine horse field, will carry 57kg. She exits gate two for Brad Parnham.

“She is probably not suited at weight-for-age but will be thereabouts and I think she deserves to have a crack at them,” said Quilty on Tab Radio.

“There is no doubt about that and she is a young mare who is on the way up and deserves to take her place.

“A lot of the proven group performers she is up against are heading towards the end of their careers.

“If she is going to take the next step and progress then she has to be absolutely competitive on Saturday.”

Parnham will attempt to join his father and brother on the Strickland Stakes honour roll.

Trainer Neville and jockey Steven Parnham combined with God Has Spoken in 2011.

The leading trainer also prepared Higginsville in 1991.

Meanwhile, Quilty admits stable mate Rum For Rum, who tackles a capacity field of 16 in the Tabtouch Supporting The Industry Handicap (1600m), has been frustrating.

The Citidancer gelding attempted to lead all the way but faded to finish sixth and 4 ½ lengths adrift of Trade Down over 1600m last week.

Quilty indicated Rum For Rum, who will jump from the widest barrier, won’t be adopting similar front-running tactics.

“He has been a little frustrating lately but he is always thereabouts” said Quilty.

“He’s had his issues and never really runs a bad race.

“He won’t be ridden as positively and will be back or midfield.

“I don’t think it suited him leading the other day and also the conditions of the track.

“We will try something a little bit differently and hopefully he will be running on.”