True Self winning the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)
Willie Mullins' Tough mare True Self is primed to defend her Queen Elizabeth Stakes crown, travelling foreman David Casey believes.
The eight-year-old failed to fire in this year's Caulfield Cup, beaten just under six lengths by Verry Elleegant.
However, Casey believes she has bounced through that run well and is now set to show her true quality in the Queen Elizabeth.
A win in the race would be some consolation for the connections of True Self, who was the 25th horse in this year's Lexus Melbourne Cup order of entry.
"Since she has progressed, her work has been very good this week," Casey said.
"She won the race last year. So we are hopeful of a good run.
"A couple bits of work she has done since has really impressed me. She was very good this week and freshened up good.
"I'd be hopeful (she can win). She's in very good form."
True Self finished 13th in the Caulfield Cup, but Casey said there may have been excuses.
"On the day we were a little bit disappointed, but looking back at the race, if you stopped it turning into the straight, she's still on the bridle and I think her run just petered out," he said.
"The position we had on that ground, the ninth race of the day, just told a little bit.
"She probably needed the run a little bit and tired."
"I'll leave it to Hugh. But I'd imagine it would be similar to what she did last year," he said in regards to True Self's desired position in the run.
"Probably midfield, take a chance and see what happens in the straight."