Propelle (Image: Racing Photos)
Lightly-raced two year-old Propelle has the chance to finish her juvenile campaign in impressive style with two victories from her three starts, if she can claim Saturday's Eugene Gorman Handicap (1100m) at Flemington.
Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra's filly is being targeted at some key spring races but firstly gets a final opportunity to show her wares as a two-year-old and secure some handy Flemington experience before heading to the paddock.
The smart juvenile finished fourth on debut at Sandown last month before breaking her maiden impressively at Sale last week.
Zahra said Propelle, who was previously trained by Robert Smerdon, had always indicated she'd have ability.
"This is our first campaign with her and there was good raps on her when she arrived, but she's really gone on with it, her jumpouts and both her runs have been what we've expected," Zahra exclaimed.
"They did have her nominated for the Blue Diamond, so obviously he had a fair opinion on her."
Zahra confirmed the daughter of Smart Missile has shown improvement since her debut victory.
"Fitness-wise she's where she needs to be now," he said.
"Her first start she did a lot wrong, missed the start, played up and wanted to look for the rail as well and probably ran out of condition too so there was always going to be of improvement out of her and we saw that at Sale."
Throwing a spanner in the works though is Propelle's draw of gate eight for Saturday's opening race, after having jumped from the inside in her last-start victory.
"The only question mark is her being out in the middle of the track, being a little bit exposed, but I think she's starting to work it all out," said Zahra.
"She's got a nice cruising speed and good turn of foot so we don't want to over complicate it too much with her and if she shows her good turn of foot she's right in it."
Zahra also confirmed one of the stable's star fillies, Booker, has come back into work this week having matured physically over her short break.
"She looks absolutely fantastic, put heaps of weight on," he said.
"She's gone back into work at Danny O'Brien's property on Tuesday."
The Group 2 winner will return to Ellerton Zahra Racing's Flemington base in mid-July, but Zahra was honest in confirming that while the stable has big hopes for her in the spring, it still isn't sure what will be her main aim.
"Whether she's a sprinter, a 1400-metre horse or a miler, we're still just weighing that up at this stage, so there's nice handicap Group 1s around for her at those sort of distances," he said.