Jockey Ben Melham is eagerly awaiting the renewal of his association with She Will Reign in the Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm.
Melham hasn’t ridden the filly since he won the Golden Slipper on her at Rosehill last March.
She Will Reign won the Group One Moir Stakes first-up at Moonee Valley in September before being unplaced in The Everest at Randwick the following month.
Melham was unable to ride She Will Reign in those weight-for-age races as she carried 50kg and 51kg respectively, well below his comfort zone.
Under the set-weights conditions on Saturday, in the race restricted to three-year-olds, She Will Reign will carry 54kg.
The Melbourne-based Melham travelled to Sydney last month to ride She Will Reign in a trial at Warwick Farm in which she finished second to the speedy Super Too.
“It was a soft trial,” Melham said.
“She’s filled out, she’s in good order. She’ll be hard to beat.”
She Will Reign missed a gallop between races at Rosehill at Rosehill on January 27 after trainer Gary Portelli noticed slight swelling in a fetlock joint.
Portelli said it quickly subsided and the filly worked three-quarter pace on the course proper at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Melham has had a close look at Nature Strip, one of She Will Reign’s opponents in Saturday’s race.
Nature Strip has gained a big reputation in Melbourne following an explosive win at Sandown on January 10 before another victory in the Inglis Dash at Flemington 10 days later.
The three-year-old has won four of his five starts.
“Obviously Nature Strip’s going to be hard to beat but he’s got to get around her track,” Melham said.
“It’s a tricky track for a Melbourne horse first-up in Sydney.”