Aussie News : August 30

By Adam Hamilton

Australia's champion filly Ladies In Red makes her long-awaited season debut at Ballarat on Thursday.

The daughter of Mach Three won her first nine starts, including the Group 1 Breeders Crown 2YO fillies final, before tasting defeat at her latest run, way back on New Year’s Eve when second to star stablemate Tough Tilly in the Group 1 Vicbred final at Melton.

Connections deliberately opted to give her a long spell with the change in racing season seeing such a big last three months of the calendar year.

Ladies In Red sharpened-up for her return with a Melton trial win last Monday night when she led and held-off star stablemate, Major Moth.

“We were really happy with the trial. She’s come back very, very well. I think she’s in for a big campaign,” co-trainer Emma Stewart said.

Ladies In Red is the lone back row runner (gate eight) in the Prendergast Memorial Oaks (2200m) at Ballarat.

David Moran, who drove two winners for Stewart and Clayton Tonkin at Bendigo last Saturday night, is back aboard Ladies In Red, who he’s driven at her past eight starts for seven wins and a second.

“Sal (Moran’s nickname) gets along really well with our horses and we use him whenever we can,” Stewart said.

Tough Tilly is also close to a return, headlining a staggering 21 horses Stewart and Tonkin will take to the Ballarat trials tomorrow (Tuesday).

“We’ve got lots of our best two and three-year-olds going to Ballarat,” Stewart said.

“Then we’ll have another batch go the week, Be Happy Mach, who is doing everything right at home after his long stint out with injury.

“Ride High is bigger and bulkier than Be Happy Mach, so he’s still probably another couple of weeks away from a trial.”

Stewart again confirmed Ride High would definitely not be rushed into a Victoria Cup on October 9.

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