The path to upcoming feature juvenile races starts in earnest for trainer Simon Miller with Golden Vale resuming at Ascot on Saturday.
Golden Vale was an emphatic winner on debut four months ago and Miller is confident she can deliver on her big potential again.
The highly-regarded Churchill filly runs in the Andrich Cousins Raceday Plate (1000m) and her barrier trial showed she’s ready to be a force again.
Golden Vale ran second in a 950m heat at Lark Hill, shaded late by Glasgow Lass who stamped her credentials by winning first-up last weekend.
Snapped up for $130,000, Golden Vale runs for Coolmore and was bred in Victoria, but offered at the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale.
Miller said Golden Vale was in good shape ahead of her first up assignment and believes she’s improved since her last preparation.
“You will see a very good filly,” Miller said.
“She was a bit above herself and fierce in the trial, but she blew the cobwebs out and knocked some nervous energy away.
“She has been a bomb since and you will see a good filly on Saturday.
“She is going superior to last prep and was dominant last prep.
“We’re in for a fantastic campaign.”
Holly Watson is the new riding partner for Golden Vale, Miller’s former top apprentice gifted a prized opportunity.
Golden Vale was ridden by champion hoop William Pike on debut, but his broken ankle has opened the door for Watson.
Watson has done alot of the work behind the scenes on Golden Vale and got a good feel for her in a couple of trials.
Miller said Watson and Golden Vale are a good combination.
“Holly clicks with her, she just gets on with her,” Miller said.
“They’re a match made in heaven.”
“Where we get to in running (barrier seven) remains to be seen.
“As long as she is running through the line, it’s a nice little pipe-opener and stepping stone for the Magic Millions and naturally like a Gimcrack and Karrakatta.”
In latest Tabtouch betting Golden Vale is the $2.30 favourite, ahead of Earthstorm $4 and Sinful Living $6, Miller’s second entrant Mahdi Girl is $19.
The Winning Rupert filly got on the board last start after she landed in front and held that position throughout, holding on to score a gritty maiden victory.
Mahdi Girl will step from barrier four with Maddi Derrick booked for the mount.
“She galloped unreal Tuesday,” Miller said.
“She’s drawn a gate which is a major plus
“She’ll run extremely well.”