Darren McAuliffe hopes No Surrender’s victory on Wednesday can set the tone for stable mate Solaia in the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) at Ascot this weekend.
Solaia ran fourth in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) at her last start on Melbourne Cup day, but McAuliffe expects a bounce back performance from his three-year-old.
The daughter of Toronado sat on the back of the leaders to the turn and presented with an inside run early in the straight, but was overpowered in the last 100m.
Just under three lengths separated Solaia from Dan Morton stable mates Snickerdoodledandy and Kissonallforcheeks with Magical Dream holding third.
McAuliffe said there were a couple of pivotal points that contributed to Solaia’s defeat and he expects her to turn the tables in the Champion Fillies Stakes.
“She pulled up I felt quite underdone,” McAuliffe said.
“She had a really big blow and got trapped on the wrong part of the track.
“She sort of got held up from behind and had to wait to make a sprint.
“She was on the wrong part of the track with all the winners winding up on the outside.
“I expect her to improve.”
Snickerdoodledandy ($2.45), Magical Dream ($4.00) and Kissonallforcheeks ($5.50) are the only runners under double figure odds with Tabtouch.
Solaia, who displayed a strong turn of foot to win dominantly over 1200m the start before the Burgess Queen Stakes, is a $15 chance.
To be ridden by Lucy Warwick, she has drawn barrier six.
No Surrender made it back to back wins with a fighting effort to take out the Tabtouch-Better Your Bet Handicap (1200m).
The Universal Ruler gelding appeared vulnerable half way down the straight when Iron Sharp ranged up, but he dug deep over the final 100m and won convincingly.
“I’m hoping he improves with each start and puts it together,” McAuliffe said.
“We might win another one with him over 1400m next start and put him away for Belmont I think.
“I don’t think he got the mile when we stretched him out there.
“We will leave the Guineas alone because he still holds a nomination for it.
“We’ll try to sneak our way through the grades as we always do.”
Meanwhile McAuliffe said boom filly Clairvoyance was back on track to make a surprise return to racing.
A winner in four of four starts, the daughter of Nostradamus was scratched for the third consecutive time last week and her Ascot carnival appeared over.
“My wife rode her yesterday and this morning (Wednesday) and gave her a complete bill of health,” McAuliffe said.
“We may see her in the not too distant future, I’ll leave it at that.”