By Glenn Davis
Central Queensland trainer Angela Stephens is confident talented filly Lepreezy can defy a horror barrier and a big weight to bounce back to winning form at Rockhampton on Tuesday.
Lepreezy received a massive 62.5kgs and drew barrier 14 in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap but apprentice Emma Bell’s three kilo claim will help offset her big weight.
Lepreezy had an impressive strike rate of six wins and three placings in 10 starts prior to her trip south for the QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast on March 14.
She was far from disgraced finishing eighth to the Kelly Schweida-trained The Odyssey in the 1200-metre feature.
It was the first time she had raced beyond 1100 metres and only the second time in her career that she has missed a place.
Lepreezy is back in distance to 1050 metres, a trip she has been successful over three times in her 11-start career.
“She’s got a big weight but with her claim she comes in with only half a kilogram more than what she carried when she won at Rocky three runs ago,” Stephens said.
“She’s got a lot of speed so drawing the outside barrier doesn’t worry me.”
Stephens believes punters should overlook Lepreezy’s defeat in the QTIS Jewel.
“I’m wiping the run as she was a bit fidgety in the barriers and was slow away and then copped a couple of checks in the run,” Stephens said.
“She took on the best three-year-olds in the State and got beaten seven lengths after missing the start.
“They can’t afford to miss the start in any race on a heavy track let alone a big race like The Jewel.”
Stephens rates the Peter Fleming-trained Boss Baby as the main danger.
Boss Baby was well backed when second to Lepreezy at Rockhampton on February 9 and subsequently finished second in a Three-Year-Old Plate at Cairns on March 2.
Stephens’ husband John has been Lepreezy’s regular rider but the popular jockey has been sidelined with a broken heel.
Stephens was injured in a track accident when another horse flipped and rolled on him.
He was hoping to be reunited with Lepreezy for this start but his injury has been slow to heal.
Racing Queensland webnews April 13