By Glenn Davis
Trainer Matt Dunn will revert to Plan B when talented filly Lady Banff attempts to maintain her unbeaten record against a slick field in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Plate at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Dunn’s original plan was to see if Lady Banff could take a sit in the 1000-metre dash but that was before she drew a horror barrier 14.
With the race restricted to only 10 starters, Lady Banff will jump from gate nine if the emergencies don’t obtain starts.
“It’s a terrible start and they’ll all be wanting to lead,” Dunn said.
“Our original plan was for her to take a sit in behind but from the gate at the 1000 metres she’ll have to try to lead now.”
Lady Banff booked a place in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11 when she led all the way for an easy four length win at Doomben on November 23.
At her only other start, she led all the way to win at Doomben two weeks earlier.
Dunn considered scratching Lady Banff when she drew poorly but will risk starting her from the awkward gate.
“I could have waited another week with her but she could also draw bad again next week,” he said.
“She pulled up really well after her last win and she had two weeks off in the paddock here and enjoyed it.
“She’s had a couple of fast gallops since and her work here on Tuesday morning was probably the sharpest she’s done so far.”
Dunn compares Lady Banff favourably with his previous top galloper Madotti who ran fourth to Le Chef in the Magic Millions Classic in 2015 before winning the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate as a three-year-old at the Gold Coast later that year.
“I’ve had a few runners in the Magic Millions but Madotti was my best result when she ran fourth” he said.
“She and Madotti are very similar in a lot of ways.
“She’s very tough just like Madotti but she’s got a different racing pattern to her.
“I think most trainers believe $70,000 will be the cut-off to make the Magic Millions so she’s already in the race after she won at Doomben,” he said.
Lady Banff is a daughter of Top Echelon and was a relatively cheap $40,000 buy at the Magic Millions yearling sales.
Lady Banff faces a tough task to complete a hat-trick of wins against a strong field which includes the Team Edmonds-trained The Drinks Cart and Steve O’dea’s Gotta Kiss as well as Melbourne raider Anders.
Racing Queensland webnews December 19