Blinkers on. Weight off. A softer track. Matthew Dale has ticked all the boxes for She's A Treasure to claim her first win in more than two years, but a new rivalry could upset her run to the podium.
The New Zealand stayer will race against the Keith Dryden-trained Express Courier in the $30,000 Federal at Thoroughbred Park on Friday.
Only 0.24 lengths seperated them at their last start in Wagga Wagga on April 30, with Express Courier taking the honours.
But a weight swing of 2.5 kilograms could swing the odds in Dale's favour, with the trainer also putting on blinkers to strengthen the mare's bid.
"There's a fair few boxes ticked to suggest she'll be hard to beat," he said.
"She had the opportunity to win the other day at Wagga but didn't quite get the job done.
"The jockey dropped his whip at the 300 metre mark, so if he didn't do that I think she would have won. Anyway, she gets the chance to attain on Friday."
She's A Treasure has only won one race from 20 starts, claiming the listed Oakes Preview in New Zealand as a three-year-old in 2018.
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She joined Dale's stable via Ciaron Maher and David Eustace earlier this year, and races for prominent Canberra owner Michael Thomas.
The five-year-old stayer has had three starts for Dale's stable, claiming a third and two seconds.
"It looks like a nice race for my mare to be competitive again," Dale said.
"It's always tricky with horses that have only won one race from 20-odd starts, you wonder if they've lost that confidence to win.
"She's been very consistent since we took her over, so I think she's quite well placed for Friday.
"It would be good for her to get the job done and hopefully get the confidence to go with it."
Dale has entered five horses for Friday's meeting, including Nuremberg Castle and Sunstone in a Class 1 Handicap (1200 metres).
Nuremberg Castle won his maiden in Goulburn earlier this month and Dale believes he's well placed to claim back-to-back races.
"He looks like a progressive helding and I'd like to think he'll be hard to beat again," Dale said.
Former leading jockey John Scorse provides all the tips you need for Canberra's race meet on Friday.
Best bet: Race 3, No.10 La Gai Soleil: Big effort on debut when placed in very strong race, much easier here and recent trial sees her win this.
Best roughie: Race 7, No.11 Glorious Dream: Strapping big daughter of Mossman and still learning the trade, can win again.
Race one: 1st: No.6 Casino Time: Has put the writing on the wall by finishing strongly from back at his last two and screaming for this distance. 2nd: No. 7 Echo Lad: Racing well and will be on speed, also engaged Hawkesbury, looks the danger if he comes here. 3rd Street Cred: Comes into this second up with a win this t/d previously, soft draw and claim keeps him under notice. 4th: No.3 Outahand: Boxed on well in easier race after covering extra ground last start, not hopeless if he runs the distance.
Race two: 1st: No.2 Emthree: Led and run down late when placed here before spell, resumes a gelding and hard to beat if the money comes for him. 2nd: No.4 Premier Rose: Placed 4/5 and resumes off two trials, doesn't want it any shorter but good gate gives her a chance here. 3rd: No.7 Duchess Marizza: Well bred and stable is flying, given two searching trials where she looked good, wide gate some concern, watch market. 4th: No.8 Fight For Love: Most consistent mare who is well drawn first up here, include in exotics.
Race three: 1st: No.10 Le Gai Soleil: Gallant in defeat after sharing the lead in very strong provincial maiden on debut, this well bred filly trialled brilliantly for her return. 2nd: No.3 Mossy Oak: Improving with each run and gets the blinkers on first time and extra distance looks ideal for him. 3rd: No.14 Shaddy: Well beaten only run in town , has trialled since and gets blinkers on so expect improvement in this line-up. 4th: No.7 Super Dancer: Comes into this at third run and will be on speed with the blinkers on.
Race four: 1st: No.3 She's A Treasure: Very close to a win, just missed last time at wagga and rider lost the whip, she will make her own luck and meets the nemesis 2 1/2kgs better. 2nd: No.6 Express Courier: He is going super this prep winning 3 of last 4, scratched from Wagga recently? 3rd: No.4 Hilltop Hood: Solid effort last time he placed here, set to peak at third run and likes give in the ground. 4th: No.7 Larmour: Great record this track and trip she is not out of this down in the weights.
Race five: 1st: No.9 Milamoo: Very honest miss who was gallant in defeat from a bad gate last start, draws better this time and will be very hard to beat. 2nd: No.2 Away She Goes: In form mare who loves this distance, drops in weight from narrow defeat last time and drawn well. 3rd: No.6 Rocquette: Consistent before breaking through here over the mile, back in trip and up in class don't leave out of exotics. 4th: No.12 Miss Charlie: Next best.
Race six: 1st: No.6 Calescent: Smart filly resuming here with a very impressive fresh record, drawn well for her pattern and will finish strongly. 2nd: No.5 Revolver: Both runs this prep have been good and should peak here, makes his own luck on speed and very strong. 3rd: No.2 Polar Star: Close up in all three runs this prep and gets the right run from good draw, wont be far away. 4th: No.3 Nevada Dane: He loves the wet and is very tenacious, wont be far away.
Race seven: 1st: No.11 Glorious Dream: Nice filly with plenty of upside, most impressive winning a f/m maiden with a big finish, she can win again with the right run. 2nd: No.2 Nuremberg Castle: Promising type , he has looked the goods in both runs to date, extra distance a plus and suited from this draw. 3rd: No.5: Kimmylee: Solid effort first up and she will take good improvement, back to class one is perfect for her. 4th: No.6 Sunstone: Watch market.