By Glenn Davis
Trainer Stu Kendrick has overlooked the Sydney autumn to focus on the Brisbane winter carnival with talented filly Winter Passage.
Winter Passage will be out to turn the tables on the Kelly Schweida-trained Magic Fox when the pair clash again in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Magic Fox had the measure of Winter Passage when they met in similar grade at Eagle Farm on January 19.
However, Kendrick is confident Winter Passage will again prove hard to beat with a two kilogram weight advantage over Magic Fox who scored by 2-1/2 lengths when the pair last met.
“I’ve always had an opinion of my filly,” Kendrick said.
“She’s very promising but lacked maturity until this campaign.
“She’s got a cracking pedigree being by I Am Invincible and there’s Black-Type right through her pedigree.”
Winter Passage was sold for $100,000 at the Inglis Classic yearling sales in Sydney but Kendrick never gave much thought to aiming her for the inaugural $2 million Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm on Saturday week.
“The Inglis Millennium will attract a lot of good young horses with its big prizemoney and I’d prefer to aim Winter Passage for the Brisbane winter carnival,” Kendrick said.
Winter Passage has won three times and has placed on another five occasions in her 12-start career but she’s yet to win beyond 1100 metres.
Her only unplaced run was when she finished 12th on her home track at the Sunshine Coast last November.
“I think she can get 1200 metres and possibly 1400,” Kendrick said.
“I liked the way she was very strong to the line against Magic Fox last start.
“If she goes to the winter she’ll be aimed for fillies and mares Black-Type races.
“It would be great for her when she eventually goes to stud if she has Black-Type next to her name.”
Kendrick also accepted with Winter Passage in the Class Three Plate (1200m) but elected to keep her against her own age group.
“She’s got barrier five in the three-year-old race and 12 in the other race so it wasn’t a difficult decision to run against her own age,” he said.
“Both fields were fairly even so in the end I just went with the better barrier.
“I think she’ll be hard to beat again as she got held up at a crucial time last start.”
Racing Queensland webnews January 31