Hickman hoping for another Flight Stakes upset
Trainer Greg Hickman believes Samantha Miss is one of the best fillies he’s seen but he also knows there is no such thing as a sure thing – especially in the Flight Stakes.
Hickman has Flying Tryst, the $201 outsider of the field, taking on the Kris Lees-trained Samantha Miss who is TAB Sportsbet’s prohibitive $1.45 favourite for tomorrow’s Group One, 1600-metre race at Randwick.
The Flight Stakes is the final leg of the four-race Princess Series and if successful Samantha Miss would become only the second filly to make a clean sweep of the series after Angst in 1993.
In 2002, the Bede Murray-trained Victory Vein won the first three legs of the series – the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m), Furious Stakes (1400m) and Tea Rose Stakes (1500m).
Victory Vein started the $1.60 favourite in the Flight Stakes but it was the Hickman-trained Royal Purler who spoiled the party.
Royal Purler, a $31 chance, led all the way to hold off the challenge of the popular elect and score by a short neck.
“That was a super day, I just wish it would happen again,” Hickman said.
“The funny thing was that I was really confident going into the race but to actually see it happen is pretty special and something that can never be taken from you.
“I haven’t seen too many better fillies than Samantha Miss and Kris will have her spot-on for this race but anything can happen at this level.”
Flying Tryst, who scored on debut at Canterbury in August, was unplaced in the Silver Shadow and Furious Stakes and was fifth to Sara’s Choice in the Reginald Allen Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
“She got to the lead pretty early and got a bit lost but it was still a good effort,” Hickman said.
“She only got beaten 1-1/2 lengths and she’s certainly good value for the place tomorrow.
“I think she’s a very talented filly and there’s no doubt that if we dropped her back in grade she would have won three races by now.”
The David Payne-trained Stripper is the TAB Sportsbet equal second favourite for the Flight with Portillo at $8.50.
Stripper ran a short head second to Duporth in the $1 million Golden Rose in August but was found to have a cough after her fifth in the Tea Rose.
Sara’s Choice, from the Kevin Moses stable, is rated a $26 chance.
By Russell Jackson