Setsuna will be out to confirm a Golden Slipper spot when the filly contests the Magic Night Stakes.
Despite boom filly Sunlight’s reputation, co-trainer Adrian Bott is unfazed ahead of Setsuna’s first clash with the Golden Slipper favourite.
Setsuna will attempt to nail down a start in the Golden Slipper through Saturday’s Group Two Magic Night Stakes (1200m), the setting for Sunlight’s final audition.
Ideally, Setsuna would have avoided Sunlight until Saturday week, but sitting 17th on the order of entry has left her vulnerable.
“Our hands are tied because she’s borderline for the Slipper and if she didn’t run a couple could overtake her,” Bott said.
Setsuna started her career when finishing runner-up to Satin Slipper in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) in September.
She then had an unbeaten trip to Melbourne highlighted by a Group Three at Flemington.
Setsuna restarted her Golden Slipper campaign with a fourth in the Group Two Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) and Bott expected significant improvement in the Magic Night Stakes.
“She only had the one trial going to the 1200 first-up and she probably just felt the pinch late,” he said.
“She’s come on enormously from that run and while we’ve seen Sunlight is the benchmark, if she gets into the Slipper she’ll be a great chance.”
Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, admitted drawing barrier 11 in the field of 13 was tricky though it suited her racing pattern.
“She’ll roll forward so we’re not overly concerned,” he said.
Waterhouse and Bott, who have already qualified Group Two Skyline Stakes-winning colt Santos for the Golden Slipper, also saddle up Terminology ($26) second-up for her last chance to join her stablemate.
“She’s taking a big step up in grade to black-type but we think she’s entitled to,” Bott said.
Waterhouse has trained six Golden Slipper winners and Vancouver was her most recent in 2015.