Stakes-placed filly Butter Blonde will have a key gear change for the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic at Ballarat after struggling in her first serious gallop in the reverse direction.
The filly competed in a right-handed jump out earlier this week, which is part of the qualification criteria for Saturday’s race, and co-trainer Adrian Bott admits she was all at sea.
He is hoping the addition of blinkers can help offset her inexperience.
“We did send her out to Ballarat during the week for a jump out and it was her first experience that way of going,” Bott said.
“She did get very lost that way. She gets the blinkers for the first time and she’s a ready-made runner, which is what we’ve seen at her first couple of runs.”
Butter Blonde, a daughter of Choisir, has done all her education and racing in the counterclockwise direction in Victoria.
She has shown good ability in her two starts, winning on debut at Bendigo and placing behind smart juvenile Dosh in the Ottawa Stakes at Flemington.
On the strength of those formlines, she is among the top picks for Saturday’s Clockwise Classic (1000m), a lead up to the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in January and the only race in Victoria run in the reverse direction.
Despite her imperfect build up, Bott is confident Butter Blonde will prove a quick learner and she will have the services of top jockey Craig Williams to guide her.
“Her run was very game in the Ottawa so if she can bring that to that way of going, she will be in it for a long way,” Bott said.
“I’m expecting she can turn it around.”
The stable will have to rely on a high attrition rate for Knights Order to gain a start in the Ballarat Cup (2000m).
The horse is third emergency for Saturday’s $500,000 race, which has attracted one of the strongest fields in recent years.
“He has freshened up really well and he’s in great shape so I’d love to see him take his place,” Bott said.
The Listed Pakenham Cup on December 5 is the main goal for Knights Order this campaign.