Michael Heaton | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Star filly Wonderful To Fly will be looking to add another Group-level victory to her honour roll at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she lines up in the Group 2 Trotsynd 3YO Diamond Classic (2130m).
An emphatic winner at her last five starts and victorious at 16 of her 26 lifetime starts, the Fly Like An Eagle three-year-old will jump from the inside of the second line in a capacity field.
Ask the filly’s trainer, driver and managing owner Shane Young about his confidence levels going into the race, the Pinjarra horseman remains optimistic yet cautious.
“The draw dented them a little bit,” he said.
“It’s probably not the draw we really wanted with her, but it is what it is and it’s a race.
“The back line’s not the worry, it’s probably just inside the back line.”
Wonderful To Fly burst onto the scene with nine wins in her two-year-old season, highlighted by a Group 1 triumph in the 2YO Fillies Westbred Classic (2100m), and has picked up where she left off in 2022 with seven wins and three minor placings from her 10 starts as a three-year-old.
Already a winner of the Group 2 3YO Fillies Sales Classic (2100m) and Group 2 APG 3YO Fillies Final (1730m) this year, the filly hasn’t started longer than $1.16 from her last four starts and has thrilled Young with her progression.
“She’s come back really well and is probably a little bit better,” Young said.
“She’s just matured a bit and she’s definitely stepped up.
“She’s continued on with the promise she showed as a two-year-old.”
Whilst Young believes his filly is the horse to beat in Friday night’s feature event, he admits she’ll need some things to go her way from a potentially awkward barrier draw.
“If I took the risk and just drove her for luck, I’m sure Dylan’s horse will hold up early,” he said.
“It’ll depend on if he wants to hand up to anything and he can make the play, but for me it’s about whether I want to stay there or just try and get her off the fence.
“Hopefully her ability will get her through.
“She’s clearly the dominate filly at the moment, but this will be a full field which she hasn’t been racing in.
“There are some decent fillies in it but I’m sure she’s the one they’ll be worried about.”
Wonderful To Fly has raced in each month of 2022 and win, lose or draw, she’s scheduled to head to the paddock after the 3YO Diamond Classic.
“She’ll probably have a break afterwards and then there’s the Westsired in July,” Young said.
“That’s for the local breds, then there are races like a Country Oaks, Dainty’s Daughter and Westbred, so there are some good races for her.
“It’s just a matter of how long we can keep her up for and try to navigate our way through it.”