Ennis Hill will put her Blue Diamond Stakes credentials on the line when she runs in a lead-up race at Caulfield.
The Lindsay Park-trained two-year-old runs in Saturday’s Group Three Chairman’s Stakes over 1000m.
The past two winners of the Chairman’s, Extreme Choice in 2016 and Formality last year, went on to win and run third respectively in the Blue Diamond at Caulfield three weeks later.
Like Formality, Ennis Hill races in the navy colours of Coolmore and is coming off a debut fourth to Ollivander over 1000m at Caulfield in December.
Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said the stable was pleased with the filly’s effort after she was pushed wide on the turn.
“The rail was right out and she jumped a bit slow and we had to go back,” Dabernig said.
“She was the widest runner on the home turn and then loomed up but couldn’t quite peg them back.
“I think she’ll be better for having that run and she’s one that is potentially on the way to the Blue Diamond.
“She would have to perform very well on Saturday but we’re pretty confident going into the race that she’ll run well.”
Dabernig is looking forward to the return of Earth Angel in the Ian Miller Handicap (1400m).
A daughter of 2006 Blue Diamond runner-up and Golden Slipper winner Miss Finland, Earth Angel hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Fernhill Stakes at Randwick last April.
At her only other outing she was successful in a 1200m maiden at Ballarat.
Dabernig said Earth Angel was in pre-training after spelling at owner Arrowfield Stud’s property in the Hunter Valley kicked out when she was on the walker, striking a partition and suffering a bruised foot.
“There was nothing structurally wrong but she had to be stopped and it ruled out the spring so the plan was made to set her for the autumn,” Dabernig said.
“We’re not sure where she’ll get to but we’re hoping she may be an Oaks filly.
“She’s trialled really well recently and she seems to be going very well but there’s a bit of a reservation first-up off a long break.
“As she’s so lightly-raced we’ve got to learn more about her under race conditions.
“Her sister Stay With Me won the Thousand Guineas, but I think this one, potentially, will get more ground than her.”