Thousand Guineas contender gallops at Caulfield

The competition will be tougher on Saturday but Ballarat trainer Mitch Freedman was happy to give Skybird a confidence-boosting practice run at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.

The undefeated filly had her first look at the scene of the $1.5 million Group 1 Thousand Guineas, where she worked with a modestly-performed stablemate who was ridden by Freedman.

Skybird, with raceday jockey Beau Mertens aboard, sat off the partner before joining in in the straight under light riding and shading the partner on the line.

It was an important hitout ahead of the biggest test in Skybird’s brief career to date and Freedman was happy to feel her casually loom alongside his mount late in the workout.

“I was really happy with her, she just sat off her workmate, joined in up the straight and she seemed to quicken really well and take it all in,” Freedman said.

“Beau was happy, so she’s ticked the boxes this morning.

“We’re not out there to really test them, just give them a look around, stretch their legs and let them enjoy it.

“She had a little victory near the line, she stuck her head in front, so she should be feeling good about herself after that.”

Skybird will be chasing a fourth-straight win to start her career when she takes on the likes of Coeur Volante, Arctic Glamour and Joliestar in the 1600-metre Thousand Guineas.

The daughter of Exosphere did not start her career until September 22, when she effortlessly won a 1200m Ballarat maiden at $15, followed by benchmark 64 victory over 1300m at Bendigo on October 8 before a last-to-first win in the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) at The Valley on Cox Plate Day.

Skybird overcame a tricky position on the fence to win at The Valley, but started from the outside alley in the field of 10, and Freedman would love to see her with more clear air this weekend.

“She’s drawn the outside or second outside in her three career runs. A middle draw would be perfect, we’ll just take what we can get…(but) I’d hate to draw one,” Freedman said.

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