Co-trainer Adrian Bott admits Shumookh faces a difficult task to turn the tables on Alizee but has confidence in the filly ahead of her first Group One assignment at Randwick.
Shumookh and Alizee face off against each other in a return battle in the Surround Stakes on Saturday.
The pair fought out a thrilling finish in the Group Two Light Fingers Stakes at Randwick on February 17 with Alizee prevailing by a head.
“She’s going to have to turn the tables on Alizee but she looks as though she’s made the necessary steps to do so,” Bott said.
Judging on the latest betting on Friday for the 1400m race restricted to three-year-old fillies, there appears only two chances.
Alizee is the market elect at $2.30 ahead of Shumookh at $4.20 with Frolic ($9.50) the only other filly under $10.
While Alizee has raced on 10 occasions, registering four wins including the Group One Flight Stakes last spring, the Light Fingers Stakes over 1200m was Shumookh’s third career start.
The filly graduated from a debut maiden win at Canterbury in January to a second placing over 1300m at Randwick later that month before heading to the Light Fingers.
“We really like this filly,” Bott said.
“She’s showing great improvement with each start.
“She’s lightly raced but a real professional and is thriving in her work and in her racing.
“She’s strengthened up nicely and she’s taken some nice improvement from that run.
“We thought she’d be better suited stepping up to the 1400 metres and we were very pleased to see her perform the way she did with the strength of that last race.”
The Surround Stakes is the newest Group One race on the Australian calendar and Bott and training partner Gai Waterhouse would love nothing more than to collect the trophy.
“It’s a new Group One and it’s come along at the right time for her,” Bott said.