In-form trainer Shane Quilty will test Dabang’s durability when she tackles the La Trice Classic (1800m) at Ascot on Thursday.

The $150,000 Group 3 feature for fillies and mares will be Dabang’s seventh start this preparation and third in the past two weeks.

The daughter of He’s A Decoy landed her first win this campaign when she defeated Moscatini over 1820m at Ascot on December 10.

She followed up ten days later in the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) and lost no admirers when a game fourth to Perth Cup favourite Real Love.

Last Saturday at Ascot she was rated to perfection by boom apprentice Lucy Warwick and put 2 ¼ lengths on Dragonlead when dropping back to 1800m.

Quilty said Dabang’s disposition to the 1800m and her improvement this preparation are major reasons why she will chase a maiden feature victory on New Year’s Day.

“She has been great and honest to God I think she has grown a leg over her past three starts,” said Quilty on TABradio.

“She impressed me with how she won on the weekend because I didn’t think she would win as easy as she did.

“She has pulled up a treat and she is going ahead to the La Trice on Thursday if all goes well and there are no problems.

“She has two wins from two starts over 1800 metres and might as well have a crack against the big girls.”

Meanwhile Quilty is plotting a WA Oaks campaign with his promising filly French Champagne who returned to his stable after a short break.

French Champagne has been beaten just once in her three career starts and grabbed a headline-grabbing victory at Ascot on December 13.

She had to be worked and niggled at by jockey Brad Parnham from the 600m and fought on courageously to gather in Boom Time over 1600m.

“I gave her a two week let up because I want to give her an Oaks campaign,” said Quilty.

“She is a bit of a madam and a bit unpredictable.

“She is difficult to ride and difficult to handle.

“When she does things right she does them very good.

“When she does them bad she does them pretty bad.

“What she is doing now is on sheer ability.

“She doesn’t know how to travel or when to get going.

“She has to be asked to do everything.

“When the penny drops you are going to see an even better horse.

“She is bred to be anything and is out of a half-sister to Marasco.”

“She has the bloodlines behind her and being by Blackfriars you can’t really get much better than that heading to an Oaks.”

RWWA: Julio Santarelli