Thursday, 17 November 2011
Pinker Pinker's Cox Plate victory has given trainer Tim Martin reason to be optimistic about the summer prospects of Fibrillation.
As three-year-old fillies, the pair clashed twice with Fibrillation (second) beating Pinker Pinker (fourth) home in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
There was again little between them in the AJC Australian Oaks with Pinker Pinker third and Fibrillation fourth.
While some of the other top staying fillies fromlast season failed to measure up in the spring, Martin says Fibrillation's pedigree, like Pinker Pinker's, suggests she will continue to improve with time.
"Pinker Pinker is by Reset and this filly is by Diatribe," Martin said.
"Both stallions' stock tend to get better as they get older so I'm hoping that's what happens with this filly."
After contesting the AJC Oaks, Fibrillation posted a narrow win over subsequent Metropolitan Handicap winner The Verminator
over 1800m in May.
She had a crack at the Queensland Oaks, finishing midfield to Scarlett Lady, and has not raced since.
"She pulled up with a few little feet problems from Queensland and required extra time," Martin said.
"So we thought we'd give her a good spell and let her feet grow, get over the few little issues she had.
"I'm still not convinced she's a mile-and-a-half horse yet either."
Martin will instead restrict Fibrillation to middle-distances this campaign with the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on December 17 the major target.
She will kick off her preparation on Saturday in the Warwick Farm 100 Club Handicap (1400m) with apprentice Blake Spriggs to ride.
Fibrillation is yet to miss a place in two first-up runs but Martin is wary of her chances on Saturday citing a potential lack of pace.
"She'll run well but Warwick Farm, they usually go slow in those 1400 metre races and she's going to go back from the barrier (eight)," he said.
Win, lose or draw, Fibrillation will head to the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on December 3, a traditional lead-up to the Villiers two weeks later.
"She'll work towards the Villiers and then we'll get her to a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) after that," Martin said.
The mare is one of 17 runners in Saturday's race which has attracted a strong field including Title, Mentality, Scarf and Al Dhafra.