Melito to bring more joy to Gerald Ryan
More Joyous stole the limelight from Melito the last time they went to Rosehill for all the wrong reasons.
The Golden Slipper favourite put on a rodeo exhibition at the start of the race and while all eyes were on her antics, Melito’s Silver Slipper win was almost overlooked.
Trainer Gerald Ryan was confident before the race Melito would beat More Joyous but admitted to being cautious ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two in the Reisling Slipper Trial (1200m).
"I thought she could beat More Joyous last time and I said it on the day because I thought More Joyous was agitated before the race," Ryan said.
"She didn’t look as good in the yard as she had before her first start whereas Melito was lovely and relaxed.
"But I’m not saying the same thing will happen this week.
"I’m very happy with my filly but I don’t take anything for granted."
The Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous passed a crucial barrier test on Friday but must win the Reisling to ensure a start in the Golden Slipper.
Melito’s Silver Slipper means she is automatically in the field on April 4 and she was today the third elect on TAB Sportsbet at $8.50 with More Joyous $4.50 and Real Saga $6.50.
Ryan believes one of the biggest things in Melito’s favour is her temperament.
"She is so very quiet and relaxed, you would think she was a gelding," he said.
"She has a great attitude and the trainer’s pretty relaxed too.
"She will have a good gallop tomorrow morning and I won’t do much with her for the rest of the week."
While More Joyous and Melito will capture much of the attention leading into the Reisling, they won’t have it all their own way with 15 other fillies entered in the Group Two race.
Among them is Our Joan Of Arc who will be ridden by Hugh Bowman replacing Glyn Schofield who rode her to third in the Kindergarten Stakes.
The Clarry Conners-trained filly has drifted to $35 for the Golden Slipper, double what she was in first markets.
Conners believes she can get back to winning form as long as she doesn’t get too far back.
"She has been ridden back further than I would have liked in her past couple of starts so hopefully she can get a better run next time," Conners said.
Darren Beadman, who replaces Nash Rawiller on More Joyous, will ride Real Saga in the Todman Slipper Trial for colts and geldings.
Reward For Effort, who beat Real Saga in the Blue Diamond, was also among the 11 entries along with Magic Millions winner Phelan Ready.
By Caryl Williamson