Bunbury trainer Brent Larsson is hoping his return to Ascot with Spiritual Eyes on Saturday will be every bit as successful as her last.
The four-year-old mare was headed by Transgressor in the straight but showed her toughness to fight back and win by a half-length.
It completed a successful return for Spiritual Eyes who ended her previous preparation in similar vein at Belmont during the winter.
However; her momentum ahead of the Tabtouch Provincial Sprint Final (1200m) on the weekend hit a snag when she got rolled at Bunbury.
She started a dominant odds on favourite in the field of five runners, but faded to third, beaten one length, after being overrun by Aunty Zelma.
Larrson said despite Spiritual Eyes’ high rating with punters he remained philosophical about her defeat.
“How many times in a small field do see the favourite get beaten,” Larsson said.
“She had sat outside of the leader and wanted to over work a little.
“The winner had the pie run and came over the top.
“But she has come through it well.”
Spiritual Eyes, drawn perfectly in barrier six for jockey Glenn Smith, shares the second line of betting behind Furious Dame who heads TAB market’s at $7.00.
In a wide open affair Spiritual Eyes, Tudor Bolt and Quality Fair are at $7.50 with Ripper Red, rated an $8 chance, the only other runner under single figures.
Tudor Bolt and Ripper Red have been dealt mini blows after drawing barriers 14 and 15 respectively.
Quality Fair will step from an inside position while Furious Dame, in a capacity field of 16, jumps from gate nine.
“The draw makes it pretty handy,” Larsson said.
“He is pretty one dimensional so I would like to see him go forward and take up the lead.”
Spiritual Eyes has won four races from eight races since teaming up with Larsson in March, but has yet to be tried beyond 1000m.
“That’s my only query,” Larsson said.
“The 1200m is my concern.
“If she can stretch out it will open more options.
“We will find out on Saturday.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli