Hidden Pearl heads to Randwick for the Summer Sprint with an impressive record which includes a win over Viddora.
That was more than a year ago but ahead of her first start for Mark Mason, the leading Tamworth trainer is pleased with what he has seen since she joined the stable three months ago.
The seven-year-old mare is in her final season of racing and her owners, long-time stable clients, are keen to add a Sydney victory to her eight wins before she goes to the breeding barn.
Hidden Pearl beat Viddora, who is now regarded as one of the country’s best sprinters after her Group One Winterbottom Stakes and Magic Millions Snippets victories, in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1000m) in December 2016.
Saturday’s Summer Sprint is also over 1000m, a distance at which Hidden Pearl has won five times.
Punters are also keen on Hidden Pearl who was the $3.30 second-elect on Friday behind the well-performed and well-supported Memes who has firmed from $3.30 to $2.70.
With Hidden Pearl to jump from the outside gate, Mason won’t be changing her on-speed racing style that was successful for Barry Lockwood in Queensland.
“We haven’t changed her pattern and from the outside she will go forward,” Mason said.
“But I’ll leave it up to Robert (Thompson). He will know what to do.”
Mason is encouraged by Hidden Pearl’s 5-1/4 length win in a 900m-trial at Tamworth on January 5.
“She was not asked to do a lot but she won the trial in good time (50.61s),” Lockwood said.
“That was good enough to take her to Sydney.”
The Jason Coyle-trained Memes will be having her first start since she was unplaced in the Group Two Missile Stakes in August at the end of a winter campaign during which she built on a Kembla Grange maiden win to claim another four races.
She has been ridden to all her wins by leading apprentice Rachel King who again has the ride on Saturday.