Embrace Me winning the Typhoon Tracy Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)
Danny O'Brien is banking on Melbourne's weather improving by the end of week so that two of his smartest fillies can challenge for one final three-year-old race this season.
The in-form O'Brien, who sits seventh on the Melbourne trainers' premiership with 29 wins with just two weeks of the season remaining, has entered both Embrace Me and My Pendant for the 1200-metre fillies race at Flemington on Saturday and is keen to kick off their spring campaigns early if possible.
"It will be a bit weather-dependent as we would be a bit loathe to run her on a very testing surface," O'Brien said of Embrace Me on Tuesday morning. "At this stage it's a Soft 7 so we'll probably have to accept and see what happens."
Embrace Me rose to Group 1 level in the William Reid Stakes at the end of her summer campaign off the back of some strong wins at The Valley and O'Brien said he felt the horse can be a Stakes contender this spring.
"She is lightly raced but a couple of her wins over the summer at Moonee Valley were super impressive and when she did win the Typhoon Tracy (Stakes) she was again very impressive," he said.
"We gave her that opportunity in the Group 1 and she may have reached the end of it by that night but she's certainly a filly that we think can compete through Stakes grade in the spring.
"She's by Shamexpress, who was a better horse as he got older, and we are expecting his progeny to be similar.
"She has a great affinity with Moonee Valley so we'd certainly try to have her at her best for some of those Stakes races at Moonee Valley over the spring."
WATCH: Embrace Me's Typhoon Tracy win
O'Brien said the handicapper's assessment of his two fillies has him leaning towards My Pendant this Saturday as she has been allotted 54.5 kilograms compared to the 61kg given to Embrace Me.
"I think with My Pendant, she hasn't been caught by the handicapper yet so it would be hard to see Embrace Me give her seven or eight kilos - which is the way the handicapper has got them - so you'd probably lean towards My Pendant if they met in the same race as three-year-olds," he said.
But O'Brien said the record of both fillies suggests there is not much between them.
"She spelled over the autumn and had a similar profile to Embrace Me in that she had a nice summer making her way through the grades and put in some impressive performances," he said.
"She probably hit the wall that day in the Vanity (when eighth) and hence went out.
"She trialled here on Friday as well (as Embrace Me) at Flemington and it looks like she's in for a good prep as well."