Trainer Trevor Andrews says a fitter Private Dancer can defy the odds and upstage her more fancied rivals in the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) at Ascot today.
In her first start after a strong three-year-old campaign, Private Dancer ran an encouraging third to Misty Metal in the Listed Jungle Mist Classic (1200m).
The Oratorio mare proved her class last season with victory in the Listed Challenge Stakes (1500m), a close second to Art Series in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) and third to Like A Butterfly in the Listed Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m).
She has also won three races at 1400m.
“I think she’ll go well,” Andrews said.
“She’s come on in fitness from her first-up run.
“She’s drawn a little bit tricky, so hopefully she’ll be ridden midfield with a bit of cover.
“The trip is much more suitable and she’ll appreciate a bit further, too.”
Jarrad Noske retains the ride on Private Dancer, who jumps from barrier seven and is rated a $15 chance.
Leading trainer Adam Durrant is fancied to continue his dominance of the fillies and mares’ feature with the $2.65 favourite, Celebrity Dream.
Durrant has won the race four times in the past six years — Mabel Grace (2012), Real Charm (2014), Ideal Image (2015) and Celebrity Dream (2017).
Celebrity Dream will be out to turn the tables on Misty Metal ($3.40) after running second to her in the Jungle Mist. “She hit the line really well on a day that certainly suited the horses closer to the fence,” Durrant told TABradio.
“Hopefully it’s a little bit more like last Saturday where they were able to really attack the line from out in the middle of the track.
“If that’s the case, she’s getting up to her distance range where she can beat the sharper ones.”
Celebrity Dream, a winner at eight of 19 starts, has drawn barrier six for champion jockey William Pike.
Durrant will also start Showcase, who is an $18 chance.
The Bob Peters-owned mare, a last-start fifth in the Jungle Mist, jumps from barrier five and will be ridden by Peter Hall.