Newcastle trainer Paul Perry hopes a good barrier and winning form will make the difference when Conchita chases a black-type breakthrough in the Bright Shadow Quality (1200 metres) at Doomben on Saturday.
The four-year-old mare is yet to place in 10 attempts at group and listed level but earned another chance after bursting to a 2 1/2-length victory in a benchmark 76 mares race (1250m) at Canterbury on May 2.
It was the Uncle Mo mare’s fourth win in 22 career starts but her first since October 2016 at Moonee Valley.
Perry said Conchita, which has career prizemoney of $251,370, could be headed to the breeding barn and he was keen to add a stakes success to her resume.
Her best effort in black-type company was fourth in the listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last October and Perry was hopeful the draw in two would help her take the next step on Saturday in the listed test. She was a $14 chance with NSW TAB Fixed Odds on Friday.
“Whether she goes off this season or has another year racing, we’ll just see what she does in the next couple of runs,” Perry said.
“She’s run a couple of fourths and that in those sorts of races in Melbourne, but the good alley might help her tomorrow.”
He said Conchita was down in grade at Canterbury but the win was enough to book her spot next to Nothing Too Hard, The Mission and Perast in his Brisbane winter carnival team.
“She’s always thereabouts in those sorts of races and the rest are up there, so she’s deserving of it,” he said.
“It’s a bit up from a Wednesday grade but she’s drawn well and she’ll be competitive. There’s a couple of good ones in it though.
“There’s a couple of mares races up there at that sort of standard, so she might have another one after this.”
Meanwhile, Perry said Perast would probably head to the group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) for three-year-olds at Doomben next Saturday after his listed Queensland Day Stakes (1350m) win last week.
The Snitzel colt is also nominated for the group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup on the same day.
Stud-bound stablemate The Mission could also run in either race but Perry said he was likely to compete in the Kingsford Smith Cup.
Another Perry three-year-old, Nothing Too Hard, is set to run at Doomben the same day in preparation for the Queensland Derby.
At Rosehill, Perry has just one runner, The Getaway, which is in race five.
AAP reports: Promising filly River Bird will be given her opportunity in Queensland's winter carnival races if she can break her maiden at Rosehill.
Bred by Burdekin cane farmer George Rapisarda, River Bird is trained at Warwick Farm by Jason Coyle.
She already has black-type on her record and the two-year-old has the group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 9 as a long-term goal.
Coyle had nominated River Bird for Saturday's listed Bill Carter Stakes (1200m) at Doomben but opted to stay closer to home in a bid to get her off the mark.
She lines up in the Abercorn Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m) as the second most experienced runner behind Godolphin colt Stunts, who has one win from five starts.
River Bird capped her first preparation with a third in the Group Three Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in February and resumed on May 5 with a fourth in an 1100m-handicap won by Gem Song.
"It was a good run. She just peaked on her run late," Coyle said.
He thinks the step up to 1200m and barrier three should help the filly who will be ridden by Jess Taylor.
"She's got some ability though she's probably a preparation away. She's got a little bit of growing to do but she seems to be handling everything well and it looks like she's building towards a win," Coyle said.
River Bird was a $10 chance with the TAB on Friday in a seven-horse market led by the Chris Waller-trained Press Box ($2.30).
Coyle says the race will determine whether River Bird ventures north.
"There's a few options for her but she'll have to her perform down here first," he said.
Coyle has only has three two-year-old runner this season, with River Bird the clear stand-out after Myvatn and Spiritual Pursuit were unplaced in their debuts.
Press Box will be ridden by James McDonald who won on the Waller-trained Cormac at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, his first ride since returning from a betting-related disqualification.